Driving one’s Aston Martin to a mansion does not seem out of the ordinary. But how often does one encounter an abandoned snuff factory along the way? Or upwards of 100 professional photographers from around the world, all gathered in one spot and seemingly waiting for something special? Throw in some drag racers, a forgotten community, a man named Cupid, and a few abandoned mills, and you’ve got the makings of an excellent road trip! And then there was the mansion itself, naturally…
Recently, on another forum, I was asked what is my favorite State for touring. After reflecting a bit, I responded, “It’s tough to pick a favorite state, but it would have to be West Virginia. Awesome scenery (in several ways), tons of history, and terrific roads.” And the question prompted me to take my next Aston Martin tour there. And what better way to explore than to follow the historical footprints of George Washington?
On December 21, with Christmas fast approaching and much remaining to be done, I decided that it was the perfect time for another Aston Martin road trip. I was in search of the prelude to the Battle of Antietam in the American Civil War. At the risk of offending Mr. Dickens, my trip would involve “A Tale of Two Mountains and Three Cigars.” Even better, I found many places bringing back memories of my childhood.
On August 5, 2017, I pointed the intrepid 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage in the direction of the famous Lincoln Highway. I found the historical thoroughfare I was expecting—along with the tragic story of Wesley, Jack, and Ginnie, plus a fun lesson regarding 89 years of automotive progress.
So what is the best way to check out a newly acquired 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage? In the immortal words of Otter from Animal House, “Road trip!” Accordingly, in early May I set off to do two of my most favorite things: go for an exciting drive, and look for historic, scenic, and otherwise-interesting places in the Mid-Atlantic area.
Everyone knows the Civil War battles of Gettysburg and Antietam, but not many know the significance of the Battle of Cedar Creek. Yet it was a critical point that almost produced a decisive victory for the South, which would have jeopardized the reelection of President Abraham Lincoln. Ultimately, it proved to be a major Union victory, sufficient to end the Confederacy’s potential to win the war.