On our first day in temporary stasis, we decided to keep the road trip spirit alive and, following the advice of some gum-smacking twenty something at the rental car counter, took a trek over to Assateague State Park. Since we are stuck in Hagerstown, this basically meant traversing the entire state of Maryland from west to east and back again in our rented Hyundai sub-compact. The impetus for what otherwise might seem like an insane idea was the mention that Assateague Island has the only population of wild ponies on the east coast. I could hear the theme song from Chariots of Fire playing in my mind as I envisioned herds of wild ponies frolicking in the surf. So the idea of a three hour drive seemed trivial in the face of such a wondrous thing to see. Well, Assateague in indeed a wondrous place, a beautiful coastal island just south of Ocean City. But we only saw two ponies in the distance from the causeway. They appeared to be standing forelock deep in a salt marsh. So ponies frolicking in the surf? Denied. Lovely walk along a beautiful pristine beach on a sunny autumn day? Win! The drive was uneventful. I will say Maryland has a great highway system. Plenty of state troopers too.
Today we went to Cunningham Falls State Park, which is about 10 miles east of Hagerstown. Cunningham Falls is the highest waterfall in Maryland at 87 feet. It was a gorgeous autumn day here with high cirrus clouds and the autumnal colors were at their peak. It felt good to get out into the woods and do some light hiking. The falls themselves are not exactly breathtaking, more like some individual rivulets coursing down a cliff face. The park itself is really scenic and we saw a great blue heron standing beside a small lake, a small lake that was reflecting the colors of the trees. Nice.
Tomorrow we will be checking out of the Super 8 and hoping to hear good news from the Volkswagen dealer. Since I have a super-duper extended warranty with no deductible, I am not really worried about it except for the delay in getting south. On the other hand, since we have no plan, it's not like we need to be somewhere. If we are delayed further, we are going to find a pet friendly motel since neither of us has been completely comfortable with Otis smuggling. Since we can't leave Otis in the room, we've been putting his entire pet carrier inside my duffel bag and sneaking in and out through the side door. I usually send Wendy in first and when she gives me the high sign that the coast is clear, I hurry down the hallway to our room. Silly right? I am not even sure if 'No Pets' refers to rabbits since the set of humans traveling around the states with a rabbit has to be a rather small set indeed. I really just don't want to get yelled at. Ha! It's the Man, man.
Wendy took a bunch of photographs, so she'll follow up with a second post.