A few weeks ago, Mrs. Present and I needed a short get-away. Central Appalachia has experienced a bit of heat this summer, so we wanted to do something relaxing. Elkins, WV is just two-and-a-half hours away and is home to the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad. Part of the Mountain Rails family of scenic railroads, the D&GVRR offers several routes and packages. We chose to ride the New Tygart Flyer, a four-hour round trip into the beautiful mountain valley of the Shavers Fork of the Cheat River. We booked the Parlor Car, an all adult car with a cold cut sandwich buffet, desert, soft drinks, wine, and a host. After passing through a tunnel, trout camps, and some very rugged terrain, the out-bound trip ends at the Upper Falls of the Cheat. A severe rainstorm the previous evening left the river high. It also stranded several hikers at the railroad’s shelter at the falls. They rode back with us for the return trip. If you are visiting the area, and want to relax while taking in pretty views, I recommend the New Tygart Flyer.
This post is the second on the town of St. Joseph, MI. As I noted in the previous post, “St. Joseph, MI (History)”, I went for business while Mrs. Present went to relax. St. Joseph is very nice town and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Obviously, the tourist season for beach towns on Lake Michigan’s shore is short. Fortunately, St. Joseph’s tourist area is small and easily walked. Most restaurants and shops located between Silver Beach, the St. Joseph River, Market and Court Streets. A horse drawn wagon and bicycles are available if you want a break from walking.
Back in June, I made a business trip to St. Joseph, MI. Since I had never been to St. Joseph, I checked it out before I left. What a great little town! There are many things to do, both in St. Joseph, and in the immediate area. The town boasts an Art Museum, a Children’s Museum, a lakefront beach, a beach park, and a vibrant food and drink culture. St. Joseph’s beachfront, restaurant, and shopping area is concentrated in a small area. Everything is easily within walking distance.
After I shared what I had learned, Mrs. Present decided to accompany me. We left a few days early so we could experience the town together. Once I began my work schedule, Mrs. Present was forced to sit on the beach, eat real ice cream, and read books. Poor her! St. Joseph is a town that firmly embraces its history. Placed smartly long the narrow park that rests between Lake Boulevard and the bluff that hangs above Lake Michigan’s shore, are Memorials to area citizens that gave their lives in service.
In February I spent two weeks in York, PA on business. While there most of my time was filled with work related activities. Wanting to take a break, I took the advice of several coworkers and visited Gettysburg National Military Park one Saturday. Eight hours after arriving at the park I sat down for dinner at a local restaurant. I could have easily spent another day. There is so much material available about the battle that I will not provide a description here. Rather, I will post pictures and try to describe my impressions of the museum and battlefield.
Hey folks, there have been some interesting developments regarding the Clio app. For those who are unfamiliar, Clio is an app that connects users to historic locations. A user who may be in, or will soon visit, a given area can access entries that detail many of that area’s historic sites. Each entry provides the location’s GPS coordinates, street address, hours of operation, fees, story, and much more. I had the privilege of creating many Clio entries. If you want to get a feel for the app, I have provided links to four Clio entries I created for historic sites in the Portsmouth, NH area. There is also a link to an article by Lacie Pierson, of the Huntington Herald Dispatch, that describes Clio’s new features.
With only a few days available for a get-away, Mrs. Present and I made a trip to Charlottesville, VA. Forced into a late booking, we choose the Sleep Inn and Suites Monticello. Our room was well priced, clean, and provided the requisite comfort for a one-night stay. The staff was friendly, and the complimentary continental breakfast was satisfying. Not having time to research local eateries before we arrived, we welcomed the recommendations offered by the Front Desk staff. Their recommendations for lunch and dinner proved exceptional.
We planned to visit three sites. James Monroe’s Highland, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and James Madison’s Montpelier. Because of the volume of information associated with each site, I will break the trip into three parts. [Day 1] Part 1: Monroe’s Highland and lunch. Part 2: Jefferson’s Monticello and dinner. [Day 2] Part 3: Madison’s Montpelier and lunch.
Part 1: James Monroe’s Highland
There are places where history is so evident that its presence is near dimensional. Like height, width, and depth its existence is both natural and conspicuous. These places do not invoke a sense of nostalgia, the living have no direct involvement with events there. They, instead, invoke a sense of relevance. They stand as witness to peoples and events of significant bearing, and a special few hold relevance across multiple eras. Shepherdstown, WV occupies the center of such a place.