Hike to Dark Hollow Falls

IT sounds like an ominous thing, Dark Hollow Falls — there should be a ghost story or something associated with it, but I couldn’t find any mention of ghosts, nor how Dark Hollow Falls got its name, although I could well imagine how shady and dark the falls would be if the leaves still fluttered […]

Book T Washington National Monument

“We all should rise, above the clouds of ignorance, narrowness, and selfishness.”                    ― Booker T. Washington, The Story of My Life and Work Booker T Washington was born into slavery, probably on April 18, 1856, as that’s the date that John Burroughs, who enslaved him, recorded the birth of a male […]

Hiking on Hallowed Ground: Worthington Farm Trails in Monocacy National Battlefield Park

The Worthington House. The trail head to the Brooks Hill Loop is to the left of the house (as you face it). In a perhaps apocraphal conversation, three decades after the Battle of Monocacy, which had taken place on July 9, 1864, former Confederate Major General John Gordon was introduced to Union Major General Lew […]

Scenic Drive Along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive

The Skyline Drive – Blue Ridge Parkway together form an historic scenic drive that runs 574 miles through Virginia and North Carolina through the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachia.  That time I almost lost my phone hanging out the window taking a photo along Skyline Drive. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and […]

Table Rock Hike in Monongahela National Forest

What’s a little mud when the view is this? Table Rock is a massive rock outcropping on the western side of Canaan Mountain, overlooking the Dry Fork and Cheat River valleys. The hike out to it will carry you through a hardwood forest as well as rhododendron thickets; it’s unlikely you’ll encounter anyone else, so […]

Johnstown Flood — A Disaster Still Relevant Today

The Johnstown Flood Museum Johnstown PA was a bustling city in the late 1800s, nestled in the Laurel Mountains, with a population higher than it enjoys today. By 1860, the Cambria Iron Company of Johnstown was the leading steel producer in the United States, outproducing steel plants in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Through the latter half […]

Five Little Known Must-See Civil War Battle Sites

The midAtlantic states offer a plethora of great Civil War battlefields and sites to explore, from the obscure (Balls Bluff) to the famous Gettysburg, Manassas and Antietam national battlefields. Although many of these battlefields’ visitors centers are currently closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, add these to your […]

Discovering an American Hero at the Clara Barton National Historic Site

So many ways to consider Clara Barton: a teacher, a nurse, a daughter, a sister, a patent clerk, an average woman whose vision of care and compassion led her to became a great humanitarian and hero, who founded the American Red Cross, but only after she spent years caring for Americans on both sides of […]

Missing Soldiers Office: Clara Barton’s Mission in Washington DC

The Clara Barton Missing Soldier Office Museum all started with a ghostly tap on the shoulder in 1996. Clara Barton was an amazing woman, and the more I learn about her, the more impressed I am. She is most well known for founding the America Red Cross, but she devoted most of her adult life […]

A Home for Brave Ideas — Lincoln’s Summer Cottage

The tour of the Lincoln Summer Cottage is more than a house tour, although you do see the dining room, the parlor, the Lincoln’s bedroom, and such. It’s also a tour of the ideas and the space that allowed Lincoln to navigate the Civil War and lead our country through that devastating period for our […]