"At least now I can see the stars" - incredibly positive person after a tornado ripped the roof away.
The fall foliage is gone in Maryland but that has opened up some gorgeous views. On a cool, crisp Sunday morning we did the Maryland Heights loop from Harpers Ferry. Basically, you hike two miles straight up, gaining about 1300 feet in elevation, hike a level mile and a half through the remains of the gun emplacements put up there in the 1700's and then hike two miles straight down.
The air was so clear that from the top we had a great view of Sugarloaf Mountain, a good 15 miles away.
While we were tramping up and down Maryland Heights, every few minutes we heard the woo woo of train whistles and could often look down and see mile-long freight trains heading up and down the valley. When we got back to my truck, the Capitol Limited Amtrak train from Chicago to Washington DC was just pulling in to the station. A lot of parents were putting their college kids onto the train back to DC - for $11 a much cheaper way than driving them back to school!
The next week it was time to hike the Great Falls of the Potomac from the Virginia side. Yet another cold day with crystal clear blue skies. The five mile loops takes you along the Difficult Run canyon (canyon by East Coast standards, anyway) and then along the rim of the rock cliffs that line the Potomac at the Fall line. Looking downstream its hard to believe you are just a stone's throw from the Washington Monument.