My travels this summer all have been within the nearby region: the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, the Jersey Shore, southern Pennsylvania, and western Maryland. Here are a few images I took along the way.
The Shore and More
Morning beside the bay at Chincoteague, Virginia, on the southern end of the barrier island of Assateague. Chincoteague is a favorite getaway of ours. We stay in town in a motel on the bay and bicycle to the nearby Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, with its wild ponies, migrating birds, and miles of unspoiled beach.
The northern section of Assateague Island, part of Maryland, is a national seashore. While the wild ponies are confined to certain areas at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, they roam freely everywhere on Assateague Island National Seashore. Here, two graze beside the bike path leading toward the visitor center across the bay on the mainland.
When we arrived in Ocean City, New Jersey, in mid-afternoon in late May, a heavy fog obscured the boardwalk, something we had never seen. Here it softens our view of the Wonderland amusement park and its Ferris wheel.
An advantage of visiting Ocean City in mid-week just before the summer season begins: the boardwalk is almost empty, despite perfect weather. We spent a couple of days biking in Ocean City and farther south in Cape May.
Some 30 acres of sunflowers bloom every July at McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area near Poolesville, Maryland, northwest of Washington, D.C.
The enormous main fountain complex at Longwood Gardens near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, finally reopened this year after a complete reconstruction project that took several years. The massive fountain display—only part is pictured here—is even better than before.
You can now visit the historic pump room that used to control the fountains, and examine the equipment that powered the spectacular water displays.
The pumphouse facade is especially beautiful at night. The colorful after-dark water show at the main fountain is well worth a return visit in the evening.
The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Rail Trail
We rendezvoused with Tad and Lea, our cycling friends from New York, in Frostburg, Maryland, to bike a couple of sections of the renowned GAP trail in western Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. We stayed at the historic Gunter Hotel in downtown Frostburg. This view is from the hotel balcony overlooking Main Street.
The Gunter Hotel opened in 1897, when Frostburg was a booming coal mining town. It now houses both hotel rooms and rental apartments. The new owners are restoring the hotel to its former elegance.
A grand staircase leads to the upper floors. Among the Gunter Hotel’s unique features is an actual jail on the basement level! That area of the hotel is slowly being developed into a small historical museum.
Our first ride on the GAP trail covered about 17 miles from Frostburg to just beyond Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, a stretch that includes a series of tunnels, bridges, viaducts, and other notable features. Here we head into the Borden Tunnel. About 900 feet in length, the unlit tunnel is much longer and darker than it looks.
Here we pause before entering the far longer Big Savage Tunnel. At 3,295 feet long—nearly 2/3 of a mile—it is the longest tunnel on the GAP trail. The lights inside help a lot.
This much shorter tunnel marks the Eastern Continental Divide and the highest point on the GAP trail. Just past the Mason-Dixon Line a little way south of here, we had one of our most outstanding wildlife sightings ever. A large porcupine crossed the trail right in front of us!
Of the several viaducts on the GAP trail, the Salisbury Viaduct just west of Meyersdale is the longest, at over a third of a mile across a broad valley.
Our second day’s ride on the GAP trail was from Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania to just short of the town of Confluence. Here the trail runs beside and over the Youghiogheny River, a popular waterway for rafting and kayaking. The falls shown here are close to where the trail crosses the river in the town of Ohiopyle.
David Romanowski, 2017