Railroads, Canals and Birds

Back from another 24 hour trip and I didn't even get to finish my diatribe on the first one. This was another trip to Virginia, destination Culpepper.

The route was I-84 to I-81, not the quickest route but definitely the best. Since I also traveled 81 last trip, I will roll all my thoughts together. The boss wanted us to go this way and I certainly wasn't going to argue.

The majority of my driving has always been in the Northeast. Of all the roads I have driven on my most favorite is I-81. It is scenic and never has a whole lot of traffic. It is a road that if I had to pick just one road to always drive on, this would be it. Now I am sure there are other, more scenic roads that I am not as familiar with, but right now, this is it.

I love roads which go through mountain valleys, especially when the traverse the high side of the valley. I-81 does this with the Shenandoah Valley. No matter how many times I travel this road, I am never bored with it., even when half the time I am in the dark. Of course, there are those who will claim I am always in the dark, and that may be true. But that isn't always a bad thing.

The leaves were just beginning to turn and I hope I can get back to the area next week. I always seem to miss the best color in New England every year so I'd like to see it somewhere. One thing I have always loved when travelling was spotting wildlife. I-84 is full of deer, probably too many judging by the carcasses on the side of the road. And then there are birds to be identified. I have had an Audubon Field Guide To Eastern Birds for years, and have used it to identify birds I've seen in my journies. The latest was a bobolink which flew alongside me. At least I think it was, since no guides seem to show one flying which is how I see most birds.

After dropping in Culpepper, we had to go to Hagerstown, MD. I don't know a lot about Hagerstown, but what I saw of it I liked. I love old buildings, old houses, old train stations, old streets, and Hagerstown was full of these. Not old and decrepit, although I am sure I could have found some of these, but old as in "classy" old. For example, here is a picture of the old Western Maryland Railroad Station. Had I been by myself, you know I would have stopped. I always wonder if the size of the station is in direct proportion to the importance of it.

In the middle of Hagerstown, there is what I think is a small canal. It has to stone walls, one on each side and runs along a Memorial Boulevard East. Unfortunately for me, since it now bothers me as to what exactly this is, I can't seem to find any information on it. Any one out there who knows, or knows someone from Hagerstown, and can tell me, I would love to know. The Chesapeake and Ohio had a canal through this are, but I haven't found anything which confirms or denies this is it. For the record, canals are another favorite of mine.

Wrapping this up for now, I have decided I need to find a job where I can:

  • Travel alone
  • Have time to stop and see things
  • Take pictures.

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