The fourth day of our vacation fell on Easter Sunday (April 20th). After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and were on our way west by 7:00 am.
Wait a minute! Weren’t we supposed to stay four nights at our hotel? Our original plan was to stay four nights in Waynesboro VA. We awakened early on Easter Sunday. While waiting for the breakfast room to open, Bob mentioned wanting to go home a different way than the route we took coming to Waynesboro. He said the different route home would add about an hour to our travel time. When we made our vacation plans, we talked about driving Skyline Drive in addition to driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had crossed off driving Skyline Drive soon after our vacation began. As we didn’t have anything planned for Easter Sunday, I asked Bob if he would be interested in starting home a day early by way of the new route. I love spontaneity!
So, at 7:00 am, we departed Waynesboro VA. We drove to the Best Western Grove City Inn in Grove City PA, where we spent the night. Here is a map of our route.
The first part of our drive to Grove City was via U.S. Route 250. This could be one of the best routes we have ever taken. U.S. Route 250 takes you up and over two large mountains, with great scenery all around. We followed U.S. Route 250 west through Staunton VA and the George Washington National Forest. We made our first stop while in the George Washington National Forest.
According to the inscription on this marker I was standing in the middle of what was once Fort Edward Johnson, when I took this picture. Confederate soldiers built this fort in 1862 under the command of Brigadier General Edward Johnson, a career officer from Virginia.
To the right of the interpretive marker was a 0.5 mile trail.
The trail led to what remains of the mile of trench and breastworks, which were built by Confederate soldiers to defend the Shenandoah Valley from an invasion by Union Troops marching from the west.
Returning to our car from the trail, we admired the view from what used to be Fort Edward Johnson.
Leaving the George Washington National Forest, we passed through the town of Monterey. Our second stop was just past Monterey. We pulled off alongside the road, and I took several photographs of the Blue Grass Valley.
The Blue Grass Valley is beautiful. We had to content ourselves with a bird’s eye view of the valley, as time constraints did not permit us to drive through the valley. Oh, how I would have loved to meander the rural roads of the Blue Grass Valley!
While taking these photographs of the Blue Grass Valley, I enjoyed the song of birds singing, geese honking and the warm sunshine beating down on my head.
We made one last stop in Virginia, shortly before the West Virginia border. The reason for the stop was not to photograph a scenic vista. The reason for the stop was to photograph a deer alongside the road.
Our next stop was in the town of Durbin WV, located in the heart of the Monogahela National Forest. While traveling along U.S. Route 250 I kept finding reasons to return to this part of Virginia and West Virginia. I found yet another reason for a return trip in the town of Durbin.
The town of Durbin is home to a tourist train, the Durbin Rocket. I want to take a ride on this train!
Leaving Durbin we climbed Cheat Mountain.
Soon after leaving the Monogahela National Forest we turned north onto U.S. Route 219 and made our way to Interstate 79.
We were fairly certain that we would not drive all the way home in one day, even though it was quite possible to do so. It became a certainty that we would be making the trip home in two days at 1:00 pm, when I booked a room for us at the Best Western Grove City Inn in Grove City, PA. Having the Internet on our mobile phones, while traveling, is a convenience that we both enjoy.
We reached our hotel in Grove City around 4:00 pm. We checked in, and then went in search of a restaurant. Hoss’s Steak and Sea House was closed. Kings Family Restaurant had been open but closed early, as was the case for the Eat ‘n Park Restaurant. We finally found an open restaurant. Primanti Brothers was open. It was the first time either of us ate at Primanti Brothers. We each ordered fish ‘n chips for dinner, a far cry from the baked ham dinner that I had hoped to have for Easter dinner. After dinner, we retired to our room for the night.
Oh, we did make another stop before arriving at our hotel in Grove City. We stopped at McConnells Mill State Park, which is located about 20 miles from Grove City. I will share photographs from McConnells Mill State Park in my next blog post.