Monday, October 8, 2007

Oct 2007 Ride to the Flight 93 Memorial



In early October, my wife and I, along with two of our closest friends, made plans to visit the Flight 93 Memorial Site in Shanksville, PA. We planned to leave Friday heading northwest to Cumberland, MD to stay the evening and then north to the Memorial Site on Saturday. Afterwards, we would head back home planning to get in by early evening on Saturday.

We had hoped to be on the road by 3pm, which even at a leisurely pace, would have got us to the hotel before 7pm. Unfortunately, we were not able to leave until closer to 5pm and rode about half of the way in the dark. Despite this, the ride was nice as the weather was unseasonably warm and we were able to escape the traffic once off of Rte 50. As we rode up and over the Blue Ridge, we had to keep a keen eye for deer and saw many on the way. We rolled into the Best Western in LaVale at around 9pm.



The route to the hotel.

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The next morning we woke to an overcast sky that was a bit cool and damp. But the previous week told us this would burn away to sunshine with hot and humid temps--and it did.
We made a short excursion west to see the partially built Noah's Ark just south of Frostburg, MD. (I took particular notice of the fact that steel I-beams are being used to frame the Ark...something I'm pretty sure Noah didn't do.) From there we went due north to Shanksville.

It's difficult not to be emotional at the Memorial Site thinking about the bravery of the passengers and crew of Flight 93. The site is touching in its simplicity and worth a trip to see.




The route from the hotel to the Flight 93 Memorial.

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We originally intended to see some of the off beat, unusual sights in PA (Tiny World, Shoe House, and a reconstruction of the Temple and Ark of the Covenant), but decided instead to stop at a covered bridge we passed while on the way to the Memorial Site.


Memorial Site to covered bridge.

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From the bridge, we opted to head back by first going away from home to the northwest on Rte 30 and then turning south past Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater ultimately back to Rte 50 before we turned east for home. This had us going back across the mountains later than intended. To expedite getting home, we opted to take the interstate from Winchester making a high speed run in the dark. By the time we got in, we had been on the road for 12 hours.

Covered bridge to home...sorta.

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The three ladies were tough, sticking it out for the full day still with smiles and no complaints. My wife wrestled her trike up and down mountains with aplomb (twisty roads require significantly more physical strength on 3 wheels than on 2). Better riding companions don't exist.

We logged the following stats on this trip:

  • Total miles: 490
  • Average speed: 32 mph
  • Moving average: 43 mph
  • Max speed: 85 mph (whoops!)
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