Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fare thee well, Mary Land

Done laid around, done stayed around
This old town too long;
Summer's almost gone, winter's coming on.

Done laid around, done stayed around
This old town too long;
And it seems like I've got to travel on,
And it seems like I've got to travel on

Even in my acceptance of expecting the unexpected and in my wildest paranoid daydreams did I ever expect to spend almost a month headquartered in western Maryland. In retrospect, however, I can only describe the outcome, despite being, perhaps, suboptimal relative to my initial Astral Nomads fantasies, as delightful. In a sure sign that we have exhausted the sightseeing cornucopia of local and near-local attractions, yesterday we went to the Hagerstown Premium Outlet center. If there's something that Wendy and I both abhor, it's shopping. But Wendy had lost her Opium, we think in the 'Otis on the Rolling Austro-Hungarian Bellhop Cart' episode and I needed some aftershave. Ergo, Perfumania! We rode around on some very rural roads (yes, there were cows) first so it wasn't a total loss. But I think we're both getting ready to say good-bye (and thanks!) to western Maryland.

The amount of sites to see, most within a relatively short drive, is truly staggering (here's a little recap, including shameless self-promotional links to the writing they inspired, well only a little shameful. Ha! ):

  • Gettysburg National Battlefiled
  • Harper's Ferry National Historic Site
Harper's Ferry, 2010
  • Cunningham State Park
  • Catoctin Mountain National Forest

Wolf Rock, 2010

Hogg Rock Vista, 2010

  • Antietam National Battlefield
Zouave Ghost at Antietam Creek, 2010

Snavely Ford Trail, Antietam Creek, 2010

  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Park
  • Crystal Grottoes Caverns
  • Ocean City
  • Assateague National Wildlife Preserve
Assateague, 2010
  • Assateague State Park
  • Historic Downtown Hagerstown
  • Historic Downtown Frederick
  • Washington DC
Brunswick Line, 2010
  • Washington Monument State Park
  • Appalachian Trail
It's almost seems like a lifetime ago that I pulled off of I-81 for some gas (petrol) and the Eurovan wouldn't start up again. I finally got news yesterday that the replacement engine is in and running. I could have picked it up this morning but I asked the dealership to hold it and test it for one more day. Last thing I want to do is find out as much about Roanoke VA as I now know about Hagerstown MD. No knock against Roanoke, but we want to get to Florida to cook a turkey for Wendy's dad by next Thursday. The repairs would have been done earlier but the engine sat on the parts supplier's shipping dock for almost a week due to some paperwork snafu. Insurance companies are highly competent when it comes to collecting premiums, not so much when it comes to processing claims.

So today we're just going to chill and get ready to hit the road again tomorrow morning. We're going downtown to do a last load of laundry at the Universal Laundry and catch some Afghani Kabobs at this Afghani restaurant that we've been meaning to go to but just haven't been able to squeeze in. In terms of downtown dining in Hagerstown: Rocky's Pizza (incredible sauce, these guys must be from the NYC metro area), Bulls & Bears (American bistro with good food and a chubby chef), and Schmankerl Stube (very authentic Bavarian) are all very good.

Seems almost weird to have mixed emotions about leaving Hagerstown. The place kinda grows on you. But, for the Astral Nomads, it's time to travel on....................


(if you're jonesing for Wendy's photos, she publishes the ones's that did not get on this blog at:

Shuttering Heights )

*Gotta Travel On (Paul Clayton) Dylan's version in on Self Portrait


  1. Apologies in advance for the weird fonting. The blogger composer leaves a lot to be desired and I'm too lazy to start hacking the HTML. Hey, I'm retired!

  2. After reading your posts, I have to say there can be worse places to be stuck in than Western Maryland, and it looks like you two made the best of a bad situation.
    I'm not that familiar with Maryland but as far as I'm concerned (with my limited traveling) you can't beat the East for history, culture and interesting things to do.

    By the way, your Harpers Ferry posts got me wondering if either of you read Cloudsplitter? Wow. That's quite a read!

    Good luck. I hope you make it to Florida in time for Thanksgiving and before the winter weather begins.

  3. @Tree: Cloudsplitter, eh? Have to admit I've never heard of it but will keep my eyes open at the next used bookstore we visit. Thanks for the recommendation and for your well-wishing.

  4. Just as long as you two don't get stuck on Roanoke Island in NC.
    God only knows what fate you two might meet there.

  5. @sandra: ha! say good-bye to Willoughby, say good-bye my baby.

  6. Two kind souls enter. Two kind souls leave. Remember those who never left. May they rest in peaceful pastures.

  7. @Anonymous: Cheers.

    @erica: in bristol tennessee as I type.