The Final Stretch
Only one state rested before us and our home state: Maryland. After exploring the snow in West Virginia we entered Maryland and stopped at the first rest stop we saw. To our surprise not only were we able to get a free map, but were able to experience an incredible view. Right in front of our lot was an awesome view of the Youghiogheny Lake River. So instead of searching all over we took a picture there with our last book, ‘A Long Walk to Freedom’ by Nelson Mandela.
After we took a picture I looked over and one of the ladies working at the rest stop popped her head out and yelled, ‘That’s awesome!!’ I grabbed one of my cards about the chair and went into the visitor’s center to say hello. She too wanted to know the story of the chair. I proceeded to tell her, gave her a card, and told her that Maryland had the best rest stop views – later on the trip I saw a rest stop that had a bridge that crossed the highway and stairs that went up to an another awesome overlook, but sadly after passing it.
On our way through Maryland we were desperately trying to get a postcard, and had a hard time finding one. As we continued along route 68 we started seeing National Park Service signs, much to our surprise. So on a whim we got off of the highway in Cumberland, Maryland, and ended up finding the start of the C & O Canal & the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. It was quite a find. We didn’t end up taking any chair pictures here, but took Hobbes and explored the Museums, purchased a postcard, and got a crushed penny before a stinky diaper beckoned us back to the car. It was a really cool, quaint town that we would totally love to visit again one day (as we would for a lot of the places on our trip).
Initially, we expected our trip through Maryland to be a short one, but we ended up missing our exit, so we had to continue through the panhandle with route 81 as our new destination.
Before we knew it, however, we were back in our home state. It was around dinner time and we had a gift card for Olive Garden, so we stopped for a nice dinner. We ended up getting 4 meals for $3 which included our tip, so it was well worth it. After this we got back on the highway for the last 3 hours of our trip. Not much happened during this time. It was one straight shot from where we got on 81 in Maryland to when we hit route 80 less than an hour from home. Altogether though, it was a nice time to reflect on our trip and regain the growing security of being home. We arrived at our house at 10pm, and after turning our water and breakers back on, went straight to bed.
Altogether we took The Orange Chair through 16 states over the course of 9 days for a total of drove 56+ hours and 3,841 miles. We were also able to get pictures in each state and get postcards from every state but the ones we border hopped (Florida and Oklahoma).
- Maryland has the coolest views at their rest stops.
- The Museum at the C & O Canal was pretty fun and had a lot of kid friendly things for Hobbes to play with.
- After the whole trip of wanted to stop at a Railroad for Hobbes we were able to find the Western Maryland Railroad, which was really neat.
- The whole town of Cumberland was a pretty cool place to explore. I’m kind of sad we didn’t have more time to enjoy ourselves there.
- Getting 4 meals for $3 is pretty epic…