Our Maryland Mountain Vacation
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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