Tuesday, June 19, 2012

History in Motion

Upon arriving in a new town when on vacation, one of the last things you want to be greeted by is a giant plume of thick, black smoke.

Unless, of course, your point in visiting is to take a ride on an old fashioned steam engine.

While in Bedford, PA, Brent planned a day trip over to nearby Cumberland, MD, for this exact purpose.  He had heard about the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and knew Joseph would love it.  He has still not tired of trains!  The standard excursion makes a 32 mile round trip from Cumberland to Frostburg.

Some of the highlights along the route are Helmstetter's Horseshoe curve (a 1/2 mile curve with awesome views of the valley), the 914 foot long Brush Tunnel through Piney Mountain, and the Narrows (a mile long 1000 feet deep gorge).

Once in Frostburg they turn the engine around the old fashioned way, on a turntable.  Very fun to watch!

Then after lunch and a little time to explore, it's back to Cumberland.

Someone got a good nap in on the way back, not shocking since he was up to watch the sunrise.

The train also does "murder mysteries" and a "Santa Express" around the holidays, and you can even rent out the caboose for private parties.

They'll also transport a bike for you, which is something that we might be interested in doing when Joseph is a little older if he continues to love biking as much as he does now.  Turns out the C & O Canal, which originates near us in Georgetown at Mile 0, ends in Cumberland, MD, 184.5 miles later.  A towpath runs along the entire length of the canal, and there were people riding the train one way and then biking back from Frostburg to Cumberland.  Not sure we'd be able to bike 184.5 miles, but 16 is a good place to start.

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