September 3, 2001

Today was Labor Day, and it was the only day where we really encountered crowds on our trip. We drove through Winchester this morning since it was dark when we got in last night and we hadn't had a chance to see the town. We saw a crack dealer standing on a corner who had been sentenced to wear a sign stating that he was a convicted drug dealer. Looked like free advertising to me - now we know where to get it if we want it. Then we headed north on a state highway and stopped at a flea market. We thought they might have really far out West Virginia oddities, but it was just the same crap you find at flea markets anywhere. Next we drove through Harper's Ferry. It's a neat old historic town, but it was really crowded and we moved on.

Today once again we had trouble finding lunch. We were just inside Maryland now, one of the most densely populated states, and we couldn't figure out where these people eat. We finally ended up with a gas station cheese steak sandwich, which ended up being Steak-um's and slices of American cheese on a bun, but at least it filled us up. We picnicked on the Potomac at a park by the C&O canal in Point O' Rocks, Maryland.

Tom Poses

We visited Sugarloaf Mountain next. I used to go here as a retreat from the city when I lived in the area. We bypassed the hiking trails and rock-climbed straight up to the top. It's a fun climb. We decided to take a trail down and picked the wrong one and ended up in the wrong parking lot. We had to walk along the road until we got back to where we began.

Jana didn't realize it because we'd been driving on scenic byways all day, but we were dangerously close to the city. As soon as we left Sugarloaf Mountain, we were in full-blown D.C. suburbia. We drove through Rockville, my former employment and residence. Jana was completely unimpressed and anxious to escape there.

Great Falls

There was one more spot of nature to visit today, Great Falls, very near D.C. The waterfalls were gorgeous, but it was super crowded. Strangely, at least 95 percent of the people there were Mexicans - No hablan ingles. Too bad we weren't farther along in our Spanish lessons so we could talk to people. This was the only truly way too crowded place we visited.

Really Great Falls

Tonight we stayed at a hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. We were afraid to make reservations in D.C. because we might inadvertantly end up in a sketchy neighborhood. We stayed at the Homestead Alexandria Suites - Awesome! $48 hotwire deal. Full-size fridge, microwave, coffee, etcetera.

We went for dinner at Thai Old Towne in Old Town, Alexandria - very hot curry for Tom, soft crab & shrimp for Jana. Our Thai waitress was wearing a South Park tie. Afterwards, we walked along the riverfront - charming.

Continue to Day 4

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