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Tag Archive: United States

A visit to western Maryland

We’re finished with the family visits after 5 days in Cumberland, MD with Susan’s Mom. We went exploring and found the Great Allegheny Passage and used it for 2 days of walks. It’s a biking/walking trail that runs from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, following a rail line. Walking in 2 different directions, we found the Brush Rail Tunnel and the Cumberland Bone Caves where prehistoric bones were found about 100 years ago.

Western Maryland Mountains

Western Maryland is full of eastern mountains – highest point is about 1600 feet. It’s very green and full of trees.

Wild Mushrooms

Some wild mushrooms we found along the Great Allegheny Passage

Mark along the GAP

Mark at the start of our walk on the Great Allegheny Passage. We didn’t walk all the way to Frostburg!

On 9/10 we drove over to Shanksville, PA to visit the Flight 93 9/11 Memorial. It’s a very quiet, peaceful place and very moving. I needed a few tissues as we toured the Visitor Center and walked down to the Memorial Plaza where there’s a huge panel for each of the 40 victims.

Flight 93 Memorial Plaza

Looking down on the Flight 93 Memorial Plaza from the Visitor Center.

Flight 93 Memorial

Visitor Center of the Flight 93 Memorial

September 5 – The trip begins!

The adventure has started!  Stop 1 was Iowa via Omaha and, as Mark likes to say, the trip is all downhill from Iowa!  We started in Omaha (cheaper flight from Denver) with an overnight before heading across Iowa through all the fields of ripe corn and beans and spending the weekend in Iowa City.  Thank heavens the University of Iowa beat Wyoming in the opening game of the season or the entire city would have been filled with VERY unhappy people!

Hawkeye Fan Shop

You can find Hawkeye gear all over Iowa City.

University of Iowa ties

Just in case you need a U. of Iowa Tie

U. of Iowa sox at the Hawk Shop

Just in case you need to update your supply of Iowa sox you can find them at the Hawkeye Fan Shop in Coralville, IA.

Tailgating spots at Kinnick Stadium

These are highly prized and expensive reserved parking/tailgating spots right outside of Kinnick Stadium at University of Iowa.


The route back west across Iowa to Mark’s Mom’s house took us through Washington and Pella, Iowa. We went on a hunt for Susan’s long-ago relatives in Washington cemeteries and found a few 5th cousins 4 times removed. (We share great great great great great great grandparents – and, yes, the number of “greats” is correct!)

John Baker Tombstone

John Baker tombstone in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, outside of Washington, Iowa.

Pleasant Hill Cemetery

Located about 5 miles outside of Washington, IA in the middle of cornfields. We’re guessing my relatives had a farm somewhere in the vicinity in the late 1800’s.

The rest of the Iowa stop involved visiting sisters, nieces and nephews and Mom and watching Va Tech beat West Virginia University on Sunday night late!