As far east as we are gonna go...

Published: July 20th 2008
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We arrived in Washington, DC, last night at the peak of the 5:00 traffic and slowly inched our way along 495 North (know as the beltway) to our KOA location outside of the city. The temperature has yet to dip below 95F and stuck in traffic it might as well have been over 100! It was a relief to get into our air conditioned cabin after another scorching day. We wonder if we will ever see rain and cloud again. It has been over 90 every day since we started our trip almost three weeks ago. What we would do for a day of pouring rain!!

Our ride through Kentucky was pretty uneventful but beautiful as we followed many of the back roads across the state. We stopped at one point to get some directions and the woman in the shop said, "Horses and bourbon, that's what you'll find around here." And she was right. Pretty much the whole state of Kentucky was one big horse ranch. The horse farms started to appear as soon as we entered the state and stretched right into the western part of West Virginia before they started to disappear. We also stopped at the Woodford Reserve distillery, a picturesque distillery at the end of a backroad along the way, but arrived at the wrong time for a tour. We checked out the gift shop, had a sample dram, and walked around the displays. It was interesting that it was so well hidden and hardly a sign in sight. Other bourbon distilleries were close by including Wild Turkey.

All the water in the area trickles through many layers of limestone which apparently gives it two great properties; clear, pure water for the distilleries and a high calcium content that results in strong bones for all the horses. Hence it has become a renowned area for horse raising.

The ride through West Virginia yesterday was beautiful. One hilly twisty road after another, as we followed number 50 across the state and into Virginia. There were numerous small mountain towns and very few places to stop along the way. Basically "the hills of West Virginia" are true to form: it is one hill after another, one 9 degree slope after another, up and down and around. We had to slow down every few minutes for another S-curve or switchback so it took way longer than we expected to get through the state. But the scenery is beautiful and in many places the trees offered some shelter from the sun.

As we got closer to Washington, we passed many historic towns and villages in Virginia with many buildings dating back to the 1800s, if not earlier. We also passed many huge beautiful old estates that have obviously been around for many years. The amount of history in the area is obvious as you pass by one historic sign after another and numerous parks that highlight specific battles or events that took place in the area.

Today we went into Washington and spent the day walking around. There is way too much to see in one day but we took in parts of the National Gallery of Art, The Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Air and Space. One could spend a day in one part of any of the buildings there, not to mention all the other sites available. We toyed with the idea of going back tomorrow but decided we needed a rest at this point. Our next jaunt is a quick trip to Gettysburgh where we will be spending a couple of nights and a day to take in the sites. Then it will be on to Quebec and the Maritimes.

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