It was time for a getaway weekend. I'm not sure why, it just was. We'd been dog-sitting various people's mutts, maybe that was it. Whatever, time to git.
While hiking in Antietam a few weeks ago, I'd returned via Alt Rt. 40 and seen the Boonsboro Inn, or as it seems to want to be called, the Inn Boonsboro, located by coincidence right in the middle of cute cute cute downtown Boonsboro.
The Inn has a long history but in more recent years was acquired and renovated by bodice-ripping romance novel writer Nora Roberts who lives in nearby Keedysville. Neither Carole or I are conversant in that genre (as if I would admit it if I was...) but the place sounded nice and the rates weren't bad - we were off to rip us some bodices.
The plan was to leave Saturday morning after hitting the local gym, do various things before checking in to the Inn at 4pm. We decided to grab breakfast and coffee at the Rooster Moon coffee house in Hagerstown, a very nice place. Hagerstown is one of those cities that has never come back after losing all of its manufacturing jobs but there are pockets of hope. We stopped at the local farmer's market where Carole researched various gluten-free and ancient grain recipes from local vendors.
From there it was off to Williamsport to bicycle on the C&O Canal. For our 10th anniversary over 15 years ago, we biked the entire 184 miles of the Canal, but one section from Williamsport to Dam 4 had been wiped out in 1972 by Hurricane Agnes and hadn't yet been restored, necessitating an on-road detour back in 1999. However, that area has finally been reopened and the plan was to bike 15 miles from Williamsport to Dam 4 and then back for a total of 30 miles.
We started out under beautiful blue skies, but turns out that the foot of rain we had in June has left the shady sections of the Towpath a muddy mess. After about 4 miles of Carole whining about mentioning all the mud, I made an executive decision - we turned around and went back to Williamsport. We would put the bikes back on the car, drive down to Dam 4 and bike from there - I knew the renovated section had lots of sun, lots of concrete and was probably much less muddy.
Turned out to be a great decision. The first 5 miles or so was in great shape and the Widewater area upstream from Dam 4 is a beautiful area. A few miles further upstream, we hit the muddies again and Carole started swearing making colorful comments - so we turned around.
On the way back, we stopped at a scenic cave where a stream has eaten through the rock wall and made a very picturesque little canyon. This was just a few yards downstream from a spot where locals had put up a rope swing - motorboats would drop kids off a few feet off shore and they would swim over the Towpath, climb up and swing back into the water.
We did a total of 20 miles and it was just about time to check into the Inn. We had a beautiful room, the Eve and Roarke room - named after Fabio's parents I believe. We had our own balcony and rear entrance, nice.
The innkeeper brought us to our room and showed us around. When she opened the door to the bathroom she said "Don't be afraid of Toto" which is the electronic toilet/bidet. Toto was actually pretty scary - the lid would lift automatically whenever you came into the bathroom and sort of gape at you. Having just seen Sharknado 3, I went nowhere near the thing.
That night we drove back up to Hagerstown for a very nice dinner at the Blackeyed Susan but saved plenty of room for dessert at the best ice cream place in the Boonsboro/Sharpsburg/Antietam tri-cities megalopolis, Nutters. At almost 8 pm there was a line down the block, but it was well worth the wait.
The next morning we strolled the empty Sunday streets of Boonsboro and then worked out at the adjacent health club before a very nice breakfast at the Inn. We then headed over the Potomac to Shepardstown, WV for yet another Farmer's Market on yet another scenic Main Street and a stop to buy some coffee beans at the Lost Dog Coffee and Fine Arts Emporium, which looked like something you'd find in Berkeley, CA.
From there, we took the back roads to Harper's Ferry and headed home. A very nice mixture of cycling, coffee, cuisine and ice cream - hard to beat.