Day 1: May 16, 2008
To Clear Springs
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I remembered staying at the Melody Motor Lodge a few years ago so kind of targeted it when it looked like my first day might end in this area. It was every bit as good as I remembered. I also remembered seeing Ed's Diner as I was leaving town last time so made point of not missing it this time. Excellent. The two are next to each other at the south side of Connelsville, Maryland, about ten miles north of the National Road.

In case you couldn't tell it was raining in those first pictures, here's one of US-40 that leaves no doubt. The white building barely visible in the distance is the century old Summit Inn.

Rain was very much in evidence as I followed some of the old road through Addison. The toll house is looking good and, directly across from it, an encamped wagon train was waking up. I know of three wagon trains taking place during the festival and there may be more. This one started in Grantsville, Maryland, and will end in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. It's the only one crossing a state line.

I made a brief stop at the old stone Casselman River Bridge and took a picture from the newer bridge on US-40. There are signs announcing that the US-40 bridge will be closed for awhile starting later this month. I assume that is for repairs but know nothing for certain.

When I first noticed these buildings in 2001 I believe I thought they might someday be restored. Either I was dreaming or things have really deteriorated since then.

In 2006, I looked for, and failed to find, a stone "start of road" marker in Cumberland. Armed with better information, I thought I could find it this time and figured the 1-mile and 0-mile markers would make a good set. The 1-mile marker has had a rough two centuries and those brown rust lines give only a hint at the repairs it's seen.

In Cumberland, I intended to park in the lot at the train station while I explored but that lot was full so I had to pull on through. I really didn't even have much time to curse my luck before I realized just how lucky this was. The steam train that I had ridden in 2006 was ready for today's excursion and I had to wait at the end of the alley as it headed out. Traffic stopped while a steam powered locomotive huffs, puffs, and whistles its way through the intersection. Now there's something you don't see every day, Chauncy!

I found the stone marker. It's not really a mile marker and it doesn't date from the road's birth and it's not in a very prominent or even dignified location but it is there. Mission accomplished. I'm a happy man.

This view of the new "National Freeway" from the old National Road (now labeled Gilpin) is becoming one of the more popular National Road photo ops. It is pretty cool.

This is the entrance to Plumb Grove where "my" wagon train is assembling. No more posts today.

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