Thursday, October 9, 2008

7 Oct – Shenandoah National Park

The road that goes through the park butts onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and is better known as Skyline Drive. It was a dull overcast day today and really quite cold on the ridge line and I was glad to get down to lower levels. For all that it was a very pretty ride. The Park Ranger suggested I take in the National Battlefield at Antietam and I am glad I did.
This was an early battle, 17 Sep 1862 and should have sounded a warning for future battles. In one day 23,000 men were killed, wounded or were missing – the bloodiest day in the whole war – and both sides fought to exhaustion and neither side could claim or secure a victory. Some of the original farm buildings, around which the battle raged, are still standing.
Many of the buildings in the nearby town (village really) of Sharpsboro predate the war, have all been preserved due to local body insistence and is the prettiest town I have ever seen. The only thing modern in the town is the gas station and the cars.
This ends two great rides in America – Natchez Trace and Blue Ridge Parkway. With the Skyline Drive it has been 1,000 miles of the most beautiful traffic free road imaginable. It does not get much better then this. For the moment I am in Maryland or Merlin as it seems to be pronounced. As Gavin Q knows, this is the place where there M R ducks with wangs.

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