From Summit Inn to Summit Point

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From Summit Inn to Summit Point

Postby Rick F. » Sun Sep 17, 2006 7:34 pm

As many of you know, I live in Catonsville, MD and have a BMW F650CS. My college roomate and best friend, Buzz, lives in Wooster, OH and has a Honda 750 Nighthawk. (In fact, he's the reason that I got back into motorcycling after a 35-year layoff, but that's another story.) So, we decided to ride West and East, respectively, and meet roughly halfway at the Summit Inn outside of Uniontown, PA.

I got a nice, early start on Friday, September 8th and slabbed it to Charles Town, WV. From there, Route 9 North through Martinsburg and on to Berkeley Springs.

Along the way, I passed The World's Smallest Barn.
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I also motored through someone's field to try and get a good picture of an historic tavern, but it turned out that the trees and bushes were too thick to allow a decent shot. But at least it demonstrates that a CS can be a proper "off road" machine--in minor doses!
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About 10 miles outside of Berkeley Springs, I caught up to a fellow riding a Generic Cruiser--incredibly slowly. A minivan was stuck behind him (!), then me, and soon a whole slew of cars. For a corner marked "40 mph," which most people would take at 50, he would slow down to only 30 mph! Arghh. Eventually I got by the 'van and the PoserCruiser and got back to riding properly.

Route 9 on the North side of Berkeley Springs climbs the mountain and passes right by this stately castle-like mansion. Ages ago it was open to the public for tours, but now it's a private residence.
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A little further up the hill is one of the most beautiful vistas you'll find anywhere. This picture doesn't do it justice--it's the kind of place you could happily spend an hour looking at. The Cacapon River is just visible as it feeds into the Potomac--which looks particularly majestic from up there.
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Speaking of the Cacapon (which, just in case anyone doesn't know, is pronounced "cuh-KAY-pawn")...
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Okay, someone help me: I'm pretty sure these are ducks, rather than swans or geese, but is it normal for ducks to be all white? Hmmm, now that I think about it, I guess it's pretty normal (based on Donald, Huey, Dewy, and Lewie...)
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Outside of Paw Paw, WV there's a state park alongside the C & O Canal (featuring self-service camping, incidentally). Here's what I assume is a former canal supervisor's house.
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If you hike a half mile or so along the towpath, you come to the Paw Paw Tunnel, a marvelous engineering accomplishment from the early 1800s. It's over 3,000 feet long and took 14 years to build. (I'd known that the C & O Canal passed over various rivers and streams in aqueducts, but I hadn't ever realized that it also passed right through a mountain!) More information on this remarkable site is available at http://www.berkeleysprings.com/tunnel.htm
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After Paw Paw, you cross the Potomac River and re-enter Maryland, and Route 9 becomes Route 51, winding its way past Old Town and on to Cumberland. Scenic and virtually traffic-free. I saw virtually no cars ahead of me or behind me, although I did get passed by a Dodge Viper Coupe...

Just before Grantsville, MD is the Casselman River Bridge State Park. This bridge was used from the early 1800s until 1933, carrying all of the National Road (Route 40) traffic. I'd say it's earned a rest!
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Just before reaching the Summit Inn on Route 40, you go by Fort Necessity State Park and the Mount Washington Tavern. Both are well worth a visit. The Tavern was built in about 1828 and was very active as a stopover along the National Road. More info at http://www.nps.gov/archive/fone/mwt.htm
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At the Summit Inn, I met up with Buzz. It's a great, but not cheap, place to stay. Best of all, it has a very warm, very bubbly jacuzzi in between its indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Just the place to relax tired muscles after a long (for me) ride. If you look really carefully, you can just spot an R1100R parked under the front entrance roof...
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The next day, we rode off to Ohiopyle and had a great non-healthy breakfast at a little country store. Sufficiently fortified, we continued on up 381 to Normalville, over 711 to Connellsville, along Englishman Hill road and various others to Donegal, then up Bethel Church Road and 982 to Route 30, and then up 259 nearly to the town of Indiana, PA. We spotted this house along the way, but decided its lower rates weren't worth the drop in luxury compared to the Summit Inn...
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On Route 22, Clem's Cafe had outstanding barbecue and ribs, as evidenced by Buzz (who is about to start licking his fingers!)
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We finally turned South on 982 and enjoyed its winding beauty all the way back to Connellsville. Here we are, demonstrating that we can ride along quite nicely, even after the training wheels were removed...
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Turning West, we headed over to Brownsville in search of the historic Nemacolin Castle. Between getting rained on for ten minutes and missing a turn onto Tippecanoe Road (no kidding!), it took a little longer to find Brownsville than it should have. And once there, we couldn't find the castle to save our lives. Fortunately, a friendly fellow on a GSX1000 and his girlfriend offered to lead us there. The "castle" (actually a stately mansion built in the 1700s) was worth the effort. Nemacolin, incidentally, was the name of the Indian guide who helped settlers develop what became the National Road.
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Even better, the local brass band was playing songs, and ice cream cones--with freshly baked-on-the-spot waffle cones, woohoo!--were being sold for charity. It was a great place to rest a while and enjoy the music, ice cream, and local sights. More info on the castle, and Brownsville generally, is available at http://www.nemacolincastle.org/about/
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After a little more sightseeing, we rode back to the Summit Inn for another swim and jacuzzi dip, and then back into Uniontown for a delicious hole-in-the-wall Chinese dinner.

Sunday morning, we set off on our different ways--in my case, toward Summit Point to join the BMWBMW annual picnic. With the prior day's rain and the changing temperatures, I quickly encountered some of the thickest fog I'd seen in a long time. Fortunately, there was essentially no other traffic on 40 that early in the morning, and the fog disappeared by the time I got back to Grantsville.

From there, I slabbed it on 68 to Cumberland and set off on Route 28 South to Romney, WV. This fellow showed up through the mist and brought back memories of the 1950s:
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Romney turned out to be quite historic, having been first settled in 1725, and is considered WV's oldest town. It was also having an Historic Festival. I didn't stay for the festivities, however, being anxious to get to The Point in time for the parade laps. I did get a quick picture of the Mt. Pisgah church, which was quaint and unusual even by WV standards.
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Leaving Romney on the famous Route 50, I quickly made it to Winchester, VA and then along Route 7 and some barely remembered back roads to the track. Whereupon, I discovered I was exactly just in time for the parade laps! Here's Fearless Nate waiting to lead us Fearless BMWBMW Bikers onto the track.
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My other Summit Point photos are available at Summit Point Picnic 2006, in case you haven't already seen them. Here are my favorite Nate Kern pictures of the day:
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After a terrific time at the track, Hello Kitty and I motored on back to Catonsville, as chronicled elsewhere--and I got to try her neato-keeno R1200GS! (Thanks again Nancy!!)

All in all, it was 215 miles to the Summit Inn on Friday, about 200 miles touring in SW Pennsylvania on Saturday, 140 miles to Summit Point, and maybe another 80 miles back home. The CS ran perfectly throughout, I only got rained on (briefly) twice, and I finally met a whole bunch of you folks with whom I'd only conversed online previously.

And Nate won 2 out of his 3 races! Who could ask for anything more?

Rick F.

PS--As always, if anyone wants more detailed route information, just let me know.
Last edited by Rick F. on Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby JimVonBaden » Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:03 pm

Great ride report Rick! Very nice pictures too.

Jim 8)
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Postby raysuf » Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:42 pm

JimVonBaden wrote:Great ride report Rick! Very nice pictures too.

Jim 8)


I couldn't agree more.
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Postby Unity » Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:11 pm

raysuf wrote:
JimVonBaden wrote:Great ride report Rick! Very nice pictures too.

Jim 8)

I couldn't agree more.

What else can I say? Good job, Rick.

--John 8)
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Postby Graybeard » Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:30 pm

Fantastic Rick! Thanks for sharing!
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Re: From Summit Inn to Summit Point

Postby RocketMan » Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:56 am

Rick F. wrote:Speaking of the Cacapon (which, just in case anyone doesn't know, is pronounced "cuh-KAY-pawn")...
Image
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I used to hang out there all the time when I owned some property up that way (about 6 miles past the town of Great Cacapon on rt. 9) great place to just hang on a hot summer day, the water always ran clear in that 'ol Ribber. there are several public access points where you can walk down to the river and just sit and while away a hot lazy summer's day.

And speaking auqaducts and such the canal used to cross the Potomac river right at the end of Georgetown, you can still see the abuttments of where it went across just next to Key Bridge on the right side as you cross into Alex. and the last lock that let it into the Potomac has been restored in Old Town Alex on the end nearest the airport. The whole thing was a pretty amazing feat considering when it was built. Oh and Constitution Ave. used to be part of the canal when DC was first built. There is a small stone house on Constitution at 17th street that was the lock keepers building.


Nice pic's, thanks for the walk down memory lane! :lol:
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Postby Maria V » Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:33 am

Niiiiice!
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Re: From Summit Inn to Summit Point

Postby Rick F. » Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:48 pm

Jim, Ray, John, Larry, R-Man, and Maria,

Thanks very much for your comments. It's really nice to get such positive feedback after going to a fair amount of effort to write up a ride report. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it.

RocketMan wrote:
Rick F. wrote:Speaking of the Cacapon (which, just in case anyone doesn't know, is pronounced "cuh-KAY-pawn")...
Image
.


I used to hang out there all the time when I owned some property up that way (about 6 miles past the town of Great Cacapon on rt. 9) great place to just hang on a hot summer day, the water always ran clear in that 'ol Ribber. there are several public access points where you can walk down to the river and just sit and while away a hot lazy summer's day.

And speaking auqaducts and such the canal used to cross the Potomac river right at the end of Georgetown, you can still see the abuttments of where it went across just next to Key Bridge on the right side as you cross into Alex. and the last lock that let it into the Potomac has been restored in Old Town Alex on the end nearest the airport. The whole thing was a pretty amazing feat considering when it was built. Oh and Constitution Ave. used to be part of the canal when DC was first built. There is a small stone house on Constitution at 17th street that was the lock keepers building.


Nice pic's, thanks for the walk down memory lane! :lol:
RM



R-Man,

First, I'm looking forward to spotting the C & O Canal structures that you mentioned the next time I'm in D.C. I had no idea that the canal used to run right through part of the city.

Secondly, while you were hanging out on the Cacapon River, did you ever happen to visit Caudy's Castle? I went there a couple of times while canoeing with my Dad, way back when, and I'd like to visit it again. I've found its location through Internet searches, but it looks like the only way to get anywhere near it is by water. While I've made a couple of memorable creek crossings on my CS, the thought of riding a mile or more downstream on a major river is a bit daunting. (The Dude, of course, wouldn't hesitate!)

So, if you know any non-water ways to get there, please let me know, and thanks again for the feedback.

Rick F.
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Re: From Summit Inn to Summit Point

Postby Unity » Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:08 pm

Rick F. wrote:R-Man,

First, I'm looking forward to spotting the C & O Canal structures that you mentioned the next time I'm in D.C. I had no idea that the canal used to run right through part of the city.

U.S. Geological Survey wrote:Image

Name: Lock House
Location: 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Building Stone: Crystalline metamorphic rocks, Piedmont of Maryland
Remarks: The site of Lock House was once the western end of the Washington City Canal, where Tiber Creek emptied into the Potomac River. The structure was built in 1833 when the extension of the C&O Canal was completed and joined the two canals.
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/stones/stops1-6.html

I worked about 2 blocks from this lock house for several years before I bothered to find out its origin and history. :roll:

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(Road & Track Vol. 56, No.2, p. 19)

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Postby Rick F. » Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:59 pm

John,

Cool--however, I can't believe how many times I've driven right by this intersection, on my way to OMB, without having noticed the lockhouse!

Rick F.
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Postby BMWGirl » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:28 pm

Rick those are some GREAT pictures!! I don't know how I missed them the first time around. But they are so beautiful and clear - I was wondering if you ever print/frame them and hang in your house?? They are so beautiful!!!
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Re: From Summit Inn to Summit Point

Postby DJ Etch » Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:02 am

Unity wrote:
Rick F. wrote:R-Man,

First, I'm looking forward to spotting the C & O Canal structures that you mentioned the next time I'm in D.C. I had no idea that the canal used to run right through part of the city.

U.S. Geological Survey wrote:Image

Name: Lock House
Location: 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Building Stone: Crystalline metamorphic rocks, Piedmont of Maryland
Remarks: The site of Lock House was once the western end of the Washington City Canal, where Tiber Creek emptied into the Potomac River. The structure was built in 1833 when the extension of the C&O Canal was completed and joined the two canals.
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/stones/stops1-6.html

I worked about 2 blocks from this lock house for several years before I bothered to find out its origin and history. :roll:

--John 8)


I always wondered what that was, but never took the time to read. cool. I've learned my 1 thing for the day I'm going home.
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Postby Rick F. » Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:21 pm

Tina,

Thanks very much--I'm really glad that you enjoyed the pictures.

As for displaying them, for the most part I just use the various pictures as screensavers. Somehow my wife and I have managed to cover up most of our wall space with prints of one kind or another. Maybe I should grab a small area that's still available and start a "revolving exhibit" of some of the better shots!

Rick

PS--On a completely different topic, I believe that you, Kitty, and I are the only three club members who know what a "CET" is!
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