Fall Colors & Seafood Tour
West Virginia - Maryland - Virginia
In September, Mike had a Sunday off so we decided to head down below Washington DC and see our son Spencer and his wife Lauren. We had three goals: visiting with Spencer and Lauren, eating some good Maryland/Chesapeake Bay seafood, and seeing the start of fall colors on Skyline Drive on our return trip. I think we accomplished all three.
After arriving and checking into our lodging at the nearby Naval Base, we headed over to see Spencer and Lauren. They suggested the Ruddy Duck restaurant, known for their great seafood. Not long afterwards, we were enjoying the fresh food.
Nice view from inside the Ruddy Duck restaurant outside to the bay.
Beth and I split a seafood sampler tray with fish, clam strips, and shrimp. Yummy!
Spencer had salmon.
And Lauren went the German route with brats & sauerkraut.
We left just as the last traces of light disappeared below the western horizon.
Here, Spencer and Lauren stand in the moonlight next to the mouth of the Potomac River.
After a good night's sleep, we awoke the next morning very early to drive 20 miles south to Point Lookout State Park. We heard the sunrise there is worth the effort to get up early.
Some information about the point.
What the point looked like 150 years ago during the Civil War.
The round building with spokes was the hospital. There is a lighthouse there now.
Today, the main feature on the point is the lighthouse.
The seagulls were enjoying the warmth of the morning sun.
This fisherman was trying his luck in the early dawn.
A large tanker on the horizon is starting up the Chesapeake Bay.
The sky was changing colors every few minutes.
Seagull flying by at sunrise. This is where the Potomac River empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
A crane watching for breakfast.
We stopped at one of the numerous hiking trails and headed into the woods.
Actually, headed into the marsh.
Fall was beginning to make its mark.
Beth pointed out this spider web accented by the morning dew.
Along the trail is the location of part of the old Civil War prison.
Historical marker describes the prison.
More information about the prison.
And another plaque. Lots of history around here.
Near the prison was old Fort Lincoln.
Close-up of sign.
Re-construction of Fort Lincoln.
Enlisted quarters at Fort Lincoln.
Inside the enlisted quarters.
View from Fort Lincoln back towards the Point Lookout lighthouse.
On our way back to the car, we spotted this turtle crossing the road.
A park worker came by and helped the turtle into the grass, safe from traffic - for now.
The Point Lookout Hotel was a popular resort in its day.
Point Lookout Hotel - Rates were $8 per night.
There was a collection of some of the dinnerware used at the Point Lookout Hotel on display.
Beth liked the dinnerware because green is her favorite color.
Next, we met Spencer and Lauren for lunch.
We found this great BBQ place near the base this summer and had to come back for more.
Getting some ribs ready for another customer.
There is a big smoke house in back.
Mmmm.... Pulled pork sandwiches.
Spencer gave us a tour of the Aviation Museum by the gate of the Navy Base.
Lots of interesting planes outside, and Spencer knew the history of all of them.
Nice detailed model of the aircraft carrier USS Hancock.
This large room was filled with cutaway displays of engines, along with hundreds of airplane models
and early versions of unmanned aircraft (drones).
Each of these models is very detailed and took many hours to make.
Close-up of some of the models.
We enjoyed our visit with Spencer and Lauren, but we needed to get some rest for our early departure tomorrow morning.
Our plan is to drive down to Richmond, turn west to Waynesboro, and then turn north on the Skyline Drive.
It rained most of the way to Waynesboro, so we were pleasantly surprised to see it
clear somewhat when we arrived at the entrance to Skyline Drive.
Skyline Drive runs for just 105 miles from Waynesboro VA north to Front Royal VA.
It is sort of an extension to the Blue Ridge Parkway that extends down almost to North Carolina.
Over 2 million people visit Skyline Drive each year!
The colors were just starting - most trees were still green, so the bright ones really stood out.
At one of the overlooks near the south end of Skyline Drive.
There are about 75 scenic overlooks - we stopped at about 15.
Another overlook with some fall colors starting to peek out.
Another scenic view.
We both liked the bright red colors contrasting on the rocks.
We saw this same scene many times but never tired of it.
Near the highest point on Skyline Drive.
Shenandoah Valley is visible in the background. (Looking west)
Highest point on Skyline Drive is near Milepost 40 at Stony Man and Pinnacle Mountain.
Mary's Rock Tunnel was drilled out of 600 feet of solid rock near the north end of Skyline Drive.
View through the tunnel.
The overlook at Mary's Rock Tunnel.
One last look at some fall colors before we reach the north end of Skyline Drive at Front Royal.
In Front Royal, we found a great diner (Front Royal Diner) and had supper before continuing home to Morgantown.
We had a great time and completed all 3 goals. Remember what they were?