Road Trip Rt 40, Horseshoe Curve, Station Inn, Polish Picnic
I remember a few years ago when the family made 2 trips a year from the Washington DC area to Detroit Mi. My 2 sisters and I piled into the 1936 Buick with my parents and off went on an 18-24 hour trek to the north. I remember parts of the trip; Hagerstown, Hancock, Breezewood, Barbara Fritchie’s in Frederick, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I remember we never stopped at Barbara Fritchie’s but always got an ice cream cone at the Midway restaurant on the turnpike. This weekend I decided to combine some of my adult interest with a trip along Route 40 then north to central Pennsylvania.
Route 40 is the National road but it is not as easy to follow as it was many years ago. Some of the road is still Route 40, some of it is congruent with Interstate 70 or 68, and some, I suspect, has been changed to Rt. 144 or to Alternate 40. The trip was planned by using MapQuest and making notes where to turn and pick up which road, this technique worked very well. A GPS is not very helpful since it will always use the Interstate and paper maps lack needed detail. The effort is worthwhile. Considering the whole trip was never more than a few hours away from Washington or Baltimore there is much cultural and geographic diversity to be found.
Keep Your Eyes Open, enjoy the ride
Driving the interstates is a quick way to get around (this may not be true any more) but all the good stuff will be on the roads you do not see. The businesses you will find in the little towns reflect the area surrounding. Hunting is a major activity in the country; shops catering to the hunter are popular. The restaurant/ammo store in Hancock is a good example. Combing the 2 businesses is certainly creative and you can feel the lively atmosphere that the place must have early in the morning and after the hunt. In DuncansvillePa. there is a gun shop that specializes in muzzle loaders (guns like they used in the revolution), and in one town I saw a Banjo shop.
I came across the Palmyra farm near Hagerstown. I did not stop but wish I had, I subsequently found out that it is a noted establishment in the area. There are countless numbers of places to stop and get a different and local flavor of not so familiar themes.
Mountain Majesty, Many Mountain Top Views
The route 40 trip gives many opportunities to enjoy the results of continental drift. The top of town hill has a very nice view of Interstate 68 with the Sideling Hill cut seen in the distance. The overlook is well off the road; it looks to be a great place to watch Hawks migrate along the ridges in the fall. Across the road is a very attractive Bed and Breakfast. Spend a quiet night, and then up early to watch the birds, or view natures color.
Fun Times and Good Cooking
Driving the country roads will always reveal some local event that sounds just so inviting. The pancake breakfast, fried chicken supper or rib feast usually sponsored by a church or fraternal organization can entice you out of the car and away from the plastic chain restaurant. The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Polish picnic in Lilly Pennsylvania was such event. Again harking back to my childhood, I can remember my grandmother making Golumpki and Perogies, a stop at the picnic was mandatory. Golumpki (Americanized to pigs or piggy’s) was for sale as were Perogies, they were home made by the church members and were excellent. The lady taking the money no doubt thought I was the pig since I bought 2 dinners. The entertainment was great. There was both a country and western band and of course a Polka band. Games for the kids and adult games and beverages for the adults provided constant entertainment. The picnic by itself made the tour a total success.
STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS-GOLUMPKI
2 c. cooked rice
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. raw ground beef
1/4 c. diced, minced onion
1/4 tsp. salt & pepper
1 med. green head of cabbage.
1 can tomato soup
1 bouillon cube, dissolved in 1/2 can of water
2 tbsp. sour cream
Mix together the rice, raw ground beef and onion. Boil the head of cabbage after coring it, just to loosen the leaves for about 3 to 5 minutes. Take 1 leaf out at a time and fill it with approximately 2 tablespoonfuls of rice-meat mixture. Fold it over horizontally and then bring in the sides of leaf to make a pocket. Arrange in a covered casserole dish or roasting pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Mix the sauce ingredients until creamy and spoon over the finished golumpki. Serve with rye bread and Polish sausage. Serves about 6 to 8 people.
Flea markets and Yard sales
Perhaps the main reason that I take to the road is to search for treasures that I can eventually sell. This trip did yield a number of yard sales and interesting shops. The area around HagerstownMd.Produced some finds and Duncansville Pa was also good “pickin” territory but overall the saleing part of the trip was not that great and not up to my high expectations. Maybe I was distracted by everything else the trip had to offer.
Traditional Sights and Railfanning
Tour guide sights are many. Cumberland Md. itself warrants a weekend stay. The Western Maryland railroad begins its 3 hour roundtrip ride to Frostburg at Cumberland. In the railroad station is a C&OCanal museum, the canal’s western end is in Cumberland. There are several museums and historic buildings located in the city.
Horseshoe curve is near AltoonaPa and is well worth a visit. There is a visitor center which relates the history of this famous railroading site. A funiculator is ridden to the curve were trains pass by very frequently. It is a premier train watching spot on the east coast. Not far from the curve is GallitzinPa and the Gallitzin Tunnels. Trains pass through the tunnels on their way to or from Horseshoe curve. There is a museum/gift shop at Gallitzin as well as a Pennsylvania RR cabin car (caboose). Gallitzin also has several interesting old churches which I plan to visit in the near future.
The Station Inn at CressonPa is place I will be staying soon. It is a Bed and Breakfast with a total Railroad motif, so much so it seems like a museum in its own right. The rooms are named after railroads and there are hundreds of railroad pictures decorating the walls. The best part is the front porch and the view. Right across the street is the Norfolk Southern Mainline (the same line that rounds Horseshoe curve and goes through the Gallitzin tunnels) I picture myself sitting in a rocker, sipping my Baltimore Margarita while the trains parade by. I cannot wait!!!
The Pictures and the Camera
Most of the pictures in this hub were taken with a Nikon D80 digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera. The D80 is discontinued and replace by the D90 which is very similar and has some significant improvements. There is also the D5000 and D3000 which are similar just not so involved. Involved, elaborate are words quite applicable to the D90 camera. If you want a way to expand your traveling enjoyment get a DSLR camera a whole new hobby will open up. The camera can be used in a point and shoot mode, but also in a full manual mode with many options. In fact the camera has more buttons, knobs and controls than a toad has warts. Learning about the camera is an experience all to itself, it is fun.