Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley wasn’t high on my list of parks I ‘must’ visit but it was a little over halfway between where I was and where I wanted to be. I thought it will make a convenient stop for a couple days. It was created in 1974 to protect the Erie & Ohio canal history and the valley from over development. Local advocates worked with Congress to designate it a national park; it was partially created from two county parks in…

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New River Gorge National Park

New River Gorge National Park

Our newest national park, New River Gorge! The “New River” is one of the oldest rivers on the continent. I was surprised to learn there are various methods to date the geological features, so the estimate varies widely between 3 to 320 million years. It’s been a national river since 1978, was “upgraded” to national park and preserve in 2020. On the drive from Charlottesville to Beckley, I stopped at the Sandstone Visitor Center. They have some good exhibits on…

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Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

I stayed in Charlottesville about 18 months ago when visiting Shenandoah National Park. I did make a short, too short, visit to Monticello. I booked the house tour but left it to the end of the day, without time for visiting the grounds, the other buildings or exhibits. So when returning to the area, I booked two speciality tours at Monticello. The Hemings Family tour was very interesting. We started with Elizabeth Hemings, daughter of an English sea captain and African…

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Antietam National Battlefield

Antietam National Battlefield

The battle of Antietam was the bloodiest day in the history of the United States. On September 17, 1862, 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing after twelve hours of combat between the Armies of the Potomac and Virginia. I booked a tour through the NPS website with Antietam Guides, offered through the park’s cooperative. I read up on the battle prior to meeting my guide Sharon at 0900 at the visitor center. Scheduled for four hours, we were about four and…

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Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

I tried visiting Harpers Ferry NHP about 18 months ago, on the way from Gettysburg to Shenandoah but, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the fall, it was crazy busy. There was no parking in the small historic town, even the overflow parking lot two miles up the road was full, so I kept driving. It took me over an hour to get in and out and back on the road because of bumper to bumper traffic. When planning a visit…

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Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

The NPS manages all the battlefields in the area, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Chancellorsville, and the Wilderness. It also manages several historic buildings, including Chatham Manor. The battles in the area were over a period of about 18 months, starting with the first battle of Fredericksburg in December, 1862, between Burnside and Lee. Chancellorsville was April and May, 1963. Lee defeated Union general Hooker here and this was where Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded during the battle. The second battle of Fredericksburg…

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Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

I had a small AirBNB in a great location, by the Eastern Market in Capital Hill. It’s a beautiful neighborhood, great walking, lots of shops and restaurants in the area, and a metro station just a few blocks away. A Trader Joe’s was in walking distance as well so I could pick up some groceries but I drove over to the Aldi a couple miles away to stock the fridge. I walked down to the mall the first day, it…

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The Outer Banks

The Outer Banks

One of my cousins, who lives in North Carolina, posted an article from Only In Your State about the Outer Banks Scenic Byway a few months ago. I had never been here and thought it would be a great road trip. I booked extra time in Pensacola (not a problem, since I love that city) so it would be warmer when I visited. It wasn’t warm enough for enjoying the beach, of course, but I mostly had good weather to…

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Saint Augustine, Florida

Saint Augustine, Florida

Pensacola is very adamant about being the FIRST colony in the current US. Tristan de Luna y Arellano came to Pensacola in 1559 with 1400 people on 11 ships to settle the area. Unfortunately, a hurricane came and destroyed a number of their ships and most of their supplies and they abandoned the colony within a few years. Even the French Fort Caroline, by present day Jacksonville, was founded in 1564, a year before St. Augustine. St. Augustine was founded on…

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Pensacola: “Florida’s First & Future”

Pensacola: “Florida’s First & Future”

After Nashville, I had 6 weeks booked in Savannah but they cancelled my reservation in November not long after I booked. I tried for several weeks to find another place. I wanted to stay close to downtown so I could walk to the squares and historic center of town easily. But nothing was reasonable, Savannah is a very expensive town! The cheapest place I found was over $2000 more than the other place and I also would have had to…

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