The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Shanksville PA’

Our Outer Banks Vacation – Warren PA to Fredericksburg VA

Last night we made plans to go out for breakfast, before beginning our two-day drive to the Outer Banks.  When everyone awakened this morning, I asked if it would be OK if we ate breakfast at home instead of going out.   Everyone was amenable, so I made breakfast for the four of us. Making breakfast saved money and made for a leisure start to the day. Breakfast included scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee/tea and fruit cocktail.

We were on our way out of Warren by 7:30 am, en route Fredricksburg, VA. We will overnight in Fredricksburg and continue on to Corolla, NC in the morning. Bob and I were in the lead; Jim and Sandy followed behind. Jim’s Walkie Talkies provided  great communication between the two cars.   Our day started out foggy.  We drove in and out of fog for about an hour. The rest of the day we enjoyed blue skies and plenty of sunshine.

Our first stop was about an hour later in Brookville, PA at Sheetz. We filled the fuel tanks and took advantage of the bathroom facilities

Our second stop was at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA.  This was Bob and my third visit to the memorial. It was Jim and Sandy’s first visit. We arrived at the memorial shortly before 11:00 am. We visited the Visitor Center Complex (new to us) first. We walked the Flight Path Walkway and Overlook.

_LG24700Flight Path Walkway
My back is to the Overlook.

_LG24699Flight Path Overlook

The overlook provides a view of the Memorial Plaza at the crash site.

A National Park Service volunteer spoke with us for 25-30 minutes, providing information regarding Flight 93.

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National Park Service Volunteer

The volunteer’s talk was riveting and emotional.

Inside the Visitor Center were several informative exhibits regarding Flight 93, as well as the three other flights that crashed the morning of September 11, 2001.  The following three photographs are displays showing some of the thousands of artifacts that have been left at the memorial.  There were several other informative exhibits in addition to the ones displayed below.

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Some of the thousands of artifacts left at the memorial

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More artifacts

From the Visitor Center we drove to the Memorial Plaza.  We followed the pathway to the Wall of Names.

_LG24719Wall of Names

A wooden gate is located at the end of the Wall of Names.  My back is to this wooden gate in the photo displayed above.

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The white walls behind the fence show the flight path.
The boulder seen through the fence is where Flight 93 crashed.

This was not the first time that we had seen the Flight 93 Memorial. We visited the Flight 93 Memorial for the first time in April 2008. It was a temporary memorial at that time.

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The temporary memorial included a 40-foot (to commemorate the 40 passengers and crew) chain-link fence on which visitors left flowers, flags, hats, rosaries, and other items.

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The Wall of Names now stands where this temporary chain-link fence stood.

We also visited the memorial in September 2012.

E9143974 4x6Approaching the Wall of Names during our visit in 2012

We departed the Flight 93 National Memorial at 12:15 pm and continued driving east on U.S. Route 30.

We ate lunch at McDonald’s in Everett, PA.  We were back on the road at 1:24 pm.

We continued our drive on U.S. Route 30 to Breezewood, where we picked up Interstate 70. Soon after entering Maryland we exited onto U.S. Route 522 to Berkeley Springs, WV.  From Berkeley Springs we continued on U.S. Route 522 through Winchester, VA to U.S. Route 17 South.  Traffic was light driving through both Berkeley Springs and Winchester.

We arrived at the Best Western Fredericksburg around 4:45 pm. We checked into our respective rooms. We are on the second floor, with one room separating us.  After a hearty dinner at Shoney’s Restaurant, which is located on the hotel grounds, we spent rest of the evening relaxing in our hotel rooms.  Part of our relaxing was done together in Jim and Sandy’s room.  Jim opened a bottle of Eagle Rare.  Bob and Jim shared a glass of bourbon, while Jim began work on his blog and conversed with us at the same time.  Sandy caught up on Facebook, and I edited pictures taken today.

Bob and I returned to our room maybe an hour later.  I worked on the narrative portion of my blog.  Tiredness overcame me (and Bob too).  We were both in bed by 9:00 pm.

Please click here for Jim’s blog post on today’s activities.

Our Outer Banks Vacation: Getting There

Our Outer Banks vacation got an earlier start than expected, as Bob took off work on Friday, September 14th.  Our original plan was to leave around noon that day, when Bob would have gotten off work.  With Bob taking the day off work, we were on the road by 8:10 am.   Our mode of transportation was the Nissan Xterra.  We discussed taking both the Nissan and the motorcycle; however, I didn’t feel that my arthritic knee would feel too good after all that driving.   As it turned out, my knee didn’t feel that great from all the sitting that I did going to and coming home from the Outer Banks!

Having a few more hours travel time, we decided to take U.S. Route 219 (Pennsylvania) through DuBois and Johnstown.  We hopped onto U.S. Route 30 (Lincoln Highway) in Johnstown and followed it through Bedford to Breezewood.  We made two stops along Route 30.

Our first stop was at the Flight 93 National Memorial (Shanksville, PA).

Memorial Plaza Walkway to Wall of Names

Looking Down the Wall of Names

This was not the first time that we had seen the Flight 93 Memorial.  We visited the Flight 93 Memorial for the first time in April 2008.   It was a temporary memorial at that time.

Flight93Memorial200804_005

The temporary memorial included a 40-foot (to commemorate the 40 passengers and crew) chain-link fence on which visitors left flowers, flags, hats, rosaries, and other items.

A close-up photograph of the memorial wall

The Wall of Names now stands where this temporary chain-link fence stood.

Our second stop was at Lookout Point on Mount Ararat, near Schellsburg, Pennsylvania, approximately 16 miles west of Bedford.

Lookout Point on Mount Ararat

Mount Ararat was the site of the former S.S. Grandview Ship Hotel that burned to the ground on the morning of October 26, 2001.  The Ship Hotel was a famous Lincoln Highway landmark known not just for being a ship located at the top of a mountain, but also because you were able to see seven counties and three states from its vantage point.  I found this tribute to the Ship Hotel on the Internet.  There are four tribute pages.  Be sure to click on the link found at the bottom of each page, which will take you to the next page of the tribute.

It normally takes us approximately 3 1/2 hours to drive to Bedford from our home in Warren, Pennsylvania, when traveling our regular route.  Taking the route that we did, it took us about 6 hours to reach Bedford.  The mileage difference isn’t great:  173 miles to Bedford traveling our regular route versus 196 miles to Bedford traveling our alternate route.  The alternate route provided us a pleasant, unhurried and relaxing drive.  In addition we had the opportunity to visit the Flight 93 Memorial and stop at Lookout Point.  Had we departed home, as originally planned — after 12:00 PM when Bob would have gotten off work — we  would not have even been as far in the trip as we were!

From Bedford we continued on U.S. Route 30 to Breezewood, where we picked up Interstate 70.  Soon after entering Maryland we exited onto U.S. Route 522 to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.  Traffic was heavy through this spa town, so it was slow going for a while.

From Berkeley Springs we continued on U.S. Route 522 to Winchester, Virginia, where we picked up State Route 37 North to Interstate 81 to U.S. Route 17 South.

We spent the night at the Best Western Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  We arrived at the hotel a little after 6:00 PM.  After a hearty dinner at Shoney’s Restaurant, which was located on the hotel grounds, we spent rest of the evening relaxing in our hotel room.  This hotel is very nice, and we would stay here again.  However, I would request a room not in “pet alley”.  The Best Western Fredericksburg allows pets.  We did enjoy a quiet night’s rest; however, we were awakened the next morning around 5:30 AM  by barking dog(s).  We wanted an early start anyway, so it didn’t matter.  We got showered, dressed and packed.  Then we ate breakfast  at the hotel.  There were many breakfast selections to choose from.  We got our fill on egg and cheese omelets, bacon, French toast, tea, coffee and orange juice.

We checked out of the hotel after breakfast and were on the road by 8:00 AM.   We arrived at our beach house, A Whale’s Head Inn, in Nags Head, North Carolina, around 3:15 PM.  We would have arrived sooner; however, we lost at least 1-1/2 hour getting through the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (Interstate 664 in Virginia).  Because of construction at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (Interstate 64) all that traffic was diverted to the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel.

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