What could be better than a BMW ride or drive through the twisting mountain roads of West Virginia in the Springtime? Add in some pursuit of Civil War and other historic sites, and the decision was easy.
Serving in the cavalry during the Civil War must have been rather like riding a motorcycle: Adventurous, challenging, the wind in your face, and a wide variety of paths to follow. The chief difference was probably the proportion of the nearby population that was actively trying to shoot you…
The Civil War led to many thousands of heroic actions by dedicated and fearless soldiers who believed passionately in their cause. They were all Americans, before and after the war, but they were bitterly divided by their beliefs. The wisdom and tenacity of President Abraham Lincoln ultimately held the nation together, despite these divisions that are virtually unimaginable today (even in view of our own current political situation). In this report, I focus on one legendary leader, Colonel John Singleton Mosby—the “Grey Ghost”— and his partisan Rangers.
Okay, if you have a fabulous BMW roadster with 215 horsepower, outstanding handling, and flowing lines, what would be its best use? That’s right, you travel in search of a Potato House! No, it’s not like a Pizza Hut, Waffle House, or even an International House o’ Pancakes. A Potato House is something altogether different. And, as best I can tell, there are only two or three remaining in the U.S. Given their questionable historical significance, naturally I had to try to locate one.
Scenic history is a wonderful thing, and my faithful BMW Z4 roadster can find it better than almost any other conveyance. But sometimes, history gets moved around. On this trip into Pennsylvania, a number of rather large, unwieldy historic structures were found in the “wrong” places. Fortunately, Yr Fthfl Srvnt is not easily befuddled. Despite what everyone says…
On October 14, I set off to see what I could find in the way of Fall Colors. My route started in Harrisburg, PA and followed a large, clockwise, circular path to the north. As usual, I was also in search of scenery, history, truth, beauty, and driving pleasure—and the faithful BMW Z4 3.0i has never failed to deliver on all of the above.
Halloween reminded me of a recent trip through parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. There were plenty of good haunted houses, some with open doors as if to invite the unwary inside. And then there was the eerie black Mercedes Benz SLK that showed up, challenging me, daring me to chase it through the night, only to disappear in the fog.
Other than that, it was a normal BMW jaunt through the countryside.
Well, yes—I suppose I do qualify as a “Maryland Relic” myself… 😮 But that’s not the point of this report. This is about a BMW trip through some lesser-known parts of Maryland and the numerous old places that are rapidly disappearing. And a few that are still thriving.
Okay, so Toad Hall wasn’t really all that historic. It was merely fascinating, for sports car afficionados such as me (and many of you). The rest of the trip was historic, with sites involving John Adams, Daniel Webster, Plymouth Rock, Myles Standish, General Tom Thumb, and a ghost named Penelope.
I approached the grave with hesitation, knowing that, within, lay the body of Mercy Lena Brown, buried in 1892 at the tender age of 19. Minus her heart. The people of the town where she lived—and probably even her own, desperate father—believed she was a vampire. You can decide for yourself…