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Our Maryland Mountain Vacation

Friday

For our eleventh anniversary Diane and I decided to take a long weekend vacation in the mountains of western Maryland. On Friday afternoon we drove to Garret County.It was a pleasant three hour drive into the country. We made a brief stop at the dramatic overlook at Sideling Hill near Hagarstown.
dmlbb

Upon arriving at our destination, Casselman Valley Farm Bed & Breakfast, a 19th century 97 acre Appalachian mountain farm, with a hand hewn barn, near Deep Creek Lake, we signed in and picked out a room. They left the door unlocked for us since the owners knew we would be arriving while we were out. The B&B is run by Sis and Jay. Transplants from Charm City, Baltimore. They were very nice salt of the earth types. Since it was our anniversary they left us a bottle of wine.
jalbb

The B&B was clean and comfortable if a bit over decorated with kitsch. There were lots of country motif crafts everywhere. We enjoyed our stay there and would recommend it to others since the price was comparable to a motel yet with Bed and Breakfast personality and service.

Saturday

Morning

dml coco

Yes once again we went horseback riding. It is one of Diane's favorite things to do. We only seem to do it on vacation. She really does enjoy it though. Here she is with Cocoa and I rode Molly. We went for a one hour ride through a wooded trail and by a lake. It was quite beautiful. The guide however seemed hypo-manic. He chattered and did riding tricks the entire trip. He was a congenial enough fellow but it would have been nice to have had some peace to enjoy the experience.

jon molly

Afternoon

falls 4

After a tasty lunch at Pizzeria Uno, We went to one of the most beautiful state parks I have seen, Swallow Falls State Park It was a beautiful two mile walk along a dramatic set of waterfalls at the junction of two creeks. People in bathing suits were having a grand time wading, swimming and diving in around and under the falls. Since we didn't have suits we had to be contented with sitting with our feet in the wonderfully cold refreshing water just below the highest fall.
falls 1
falls 2

One of my favorite spots was at a bend in the stream with water falls in three directions. Each little fall had its own distinct timbre. It was really very relaxing to just sit and listen for a while.
jon sit

Following our walk along the falls we went to a nearby state park which had canoeing on a small lake. We rented a canoe for an hour and paddled around the lake. It is wonderfully peaceful in a canoe in the middle of a lake.

Night

For dinner we decided to go to a fancy French restaurant, The Cornish Manor. Located in a large Victorian country house with a wrap around porch. Live piano music emanated from the central hall. I ordered mussels and Diane had veal in a cream sauce which tasted sour. Our respect for our own attempts at gourmet cooking was raised substantially. We can cook as good or better than this particular fancy French restaurant. To give them their due the Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette salad dressing was exquisite. Too bad the rest did not measure up.

Sunday

We decided to meander our way home. It took us eight hours to make a three hour drive. We looked at Cumberland. a rather grey little industrial towm surrounded by beautiful mountains. We then headed south along the Patomac River. We stopped at one of the C&O Canal Parks. This one was across the river from Pawpaw, West Virginia. It was the Pawpaw Tunnel. Three thousand feet of tunnel cut through hard shale with hand tools and black powder. It took twelve years to complete and bankrupted the contractor who completed it in 1851.

We snaked our way along route 9 in West Virginia. WVA does roads differently than Maryland. MD goes through mountains. WVA goes around them. It makes for lot's of bending and twisting ups and downs. a regular roller coaster of a state. 

In all we had a very enjoyable weekend

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