Casselman River bridge

National Road bridge over Maryland’s Casselman River
Kodak EasyShare Z730
2009

The trip my sons and I made to Washington, DC, and then back along the National Road is the vacation we all remember most fondly. It was a great trip until we entered Ohio, when we had an automobile accident that totaled our car. We were unharmed, but it was a sad end to a great trip.

Maryland became more gorgeous the farther west we went into it. We were especially excited to reach Garrett County, as that is one of my sons’ names. We stopped by the roadside to photograph my son under a sign proclaiming our entrance into his county.

Then shortly we came upon this bridge, which was built in 1814 to carry the National Road across the Casselman River. It served until 1933, seven years after this road was named US 40, when a steel-truss bridge was built downriver and the road realigned to it. Later, I-68 was built a little farther downriver and US 40 was routed onto it. So three bridges stand in a row here. I wrote about them all here.

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Photography, Road Trips

single frame: National Road bridge over Maryland’s Casselman River

The great stone arch bridge over the Casselman River in Garrett County, MD.

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Road Trips
Ellicott City, MD

In 2009, my sons and I explored the National Road and US 40 across Maryland. The National Road was the nation’s first federally funded highway, and it connected Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. In the 20th century, the National Road became US 40, more or less.

I’ve updated my posts from this trip with refreshed photographs and some new details. Here are links to all of them.

Updated: Posts about the National Road and US 40 in Maryland

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Ellicott City, MD

Ellicott City
Kodak EasyShare Z730 Zoom
2009

Two “once in a thousand years” floods have hit Ellicott City, Maryland since 2016. Business owners along its historic main street, the old National Road, had just rebuilt from the last flood when another one in May set them all the way back again. News reports showed the first story of all of these buildings under water.

When my sons and I visited in 2009, we explored this bridge a little and found markings on its piers showing the levels of many previous floods. This year’s flood was the 15th catastrophic flood recorded since the town’s founding in 1766. Ellicott City, being in a valley near a few rivers, is simply flood prone. Ten inches of rain fell in a few hours the day before last Memorial Day and there was nowhere else for it to go.

I want to drive Maryland’s section of the National Road again one day. I hope there’s something left of Ellicott City when I do.

Photography, Road Trips

single frame: Ellicott City

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We’d hoped to encounter the famous ponies of Maryland’s Assateague Island on the beach. But on the day of our visit we saw them only along the highway near the entrance to Assateague State Park. These are feral horses, left largely to their own devices, one of the last wild herds in the United States. They seemed unpurturbed by us as we pulled our car over and photographed them from the other side of the road. Few were out this day, and only these two were close enough to photograph, even with my camera at maximum zoom.

Wild ponies at Assateague
Wild ponies at Assateague
Wild ponies at Assateague
Wild ponies at Assateague
Wild ponies at Assateague
Wild ponies at Assateague

Canon PowerShot S95

Travel

Wild ponies at Assateague

Photos of two wild ponies we met on Assateague Island in Maryland.

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Assateague is a skinny island just south of Ocean City in Maryland. Where Ocean City was all tourist attractions and (probably) trucked-in sand, the beaches along Assateague are natural and wild. The northern part of Assateague Island is in Maryland and hosts both Assateague State Park and Assateague Island National Seashore. The southern end of the island is in Virginia and hosts the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

Assateague is perhaps best known for the wild ponies that roam it. I’ll share some pony photos soon, but for now, just enjoy the beach.

The beach at Assateague State Park
The beach at Assateague State Park
The beach at Assateague State Park
The beach at Assateague State Park
The beach at Assateague State Park

Canon PowerShot S95

Travel

The beach at Assateague

Just some photos of the wild, natural beach on Assateague Island in Maryland.

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Travel

Walking the beach in Ocean City

It was my first visit to the Atlantic Ocean.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

It’s a long trip to visit any ocean from my Indiana home, but the Atlantic is far closer than the Pacific. And since we were most of the way to the Atlantic already on our Washington, DC, visit, we decided to spend one day at the beach.

Who knew Maryland is so wide: it took 2½ hours to drive to the beach at Ocean City! Fortunately it was an entirely pleasant drive, US 50 almost all the way.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

The day was chilly and the wind barreled in off the ocean. Consequently, few people visited the beach with us. That was just fine with us.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

The winds were strongest on the pier, from which I took this photo. It chilled the bones in a hurry. I didn’t stay up there for long, as I was wearing only a windbreaker over my pullover!

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

In Ocean City, to get to the beach, you have to cross the boardwalk.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

End to end, it’s top-notch tourist-trap kitsch.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

But since the season hadn’t begun, most of the stores and attractions were closed.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

You could hardly get a bite to eat on the boardwalk this early-April day.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

The boardwalk wasn’t devoid of people. These youngsters were having fun. The kid out front was pushing the cart backwards down the boardwalk.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

We left the beach and boardwalk in search of lunch. After we ate we drove down the coast a bit to see a natural beach where we encountered some wild ponies. I’ll write more about that visit in a future post.

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