Sunday, June 29, 2003

Whirlwind Weekend

Well, we're back from a rather whirlwind weekend. On Thursday night, Evelin suggested we go away for the weekend, so I cut the grass that evening and Saturday morning we threw the tent into the trunk to head out to Western Maryland with no real plans just to see what we could see. Well it turns out, we saw a lot. Saturday included the Cranesville Sub-Arctic Swamp, Deep Creek Cellars (including a short tour of their vineyard), Fort Necessity National Battlefield Park and Fallingwater. We then headed back to Deep Creek Lake for dinner at Deep Creek Brewing Co.'s brewpub and, not finding any camping sites, we pushed on to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia. Getting there at dark, we set up the tent and had a fairly restless night's sleep before heading out to hike the canyon ridge trail above Blackwater Gorge in the morning. The rest of the day was driving through the mountains (and very, very impressive mountains they were) in Virginia to stop at two more wineries (Deer Meadow Winery and Veramar Vineyard) before catching White's Ferry across the Potomac back into Maryland.

Needless to say, I'm exhausted at the moment ...

The best bit was the mountains along Route 55 in West Virginia; those around Seneca Rocks were particularly impressive. After that, it gets a bit hard to choose: Deep Creek Cellars was great, small-scale winemaking with impressive results -- the Blue Dolce blueberry wine (the only fruit wine they do) is particularly nice, as was the 2001 chardonnay (light wood, nice body and good acidity) and the 2001 Watershed Red Reserve, a Super Tuscan-style red with good levels of oak and tannin and tons of tobacco notes in it; Fallingwater was a magnificent example of what Frank Lloyd Wright could do when people gave him enough money and a free enough hand; the canyon rim was nice, a good five miles before breakfast, although there were only two places where you could break though the rhododendrons to see out over the gorge; and so on.

The only downers were a bad campsite near the entrance of the campground, a bit of disappointment with more of the beers at Deep Creek Brewing than not, being way too early to visit a West Virginia winery, and a stiff knee from the drive back ... actually the worst is realizing I have to go back to work tomorrow. Ick.

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