An Afternoon on the HandBT

A couple of Sundays ago, I decided to check out part of the Huntingdon and Broad Top Rail Trail (H&BT). The trail is located in Bedford County, PA. The trails end points are in Hopewell and Tatesville. I accessed the trail from a parking area in Cypher.

I was impressed! There were several signs that pointed the way to the trail parking lot. I had no issues finding it, and there was plenty of parking in a gravel lot.

I headed north on foot toward Hopewell. I crossed a scenic bridge, and then the trail followed along the Juniata River. I thought it was in great shape. It’s a very scenic trail. After a mile or so, several hunting camps populate the side of the trail. Lots of “No Trespassing” signs grace the area as well as notices that the area is under electronic surveillance. I turned around after seeing a couple of shanties and headed back to the car.

Overall, it was a great afternoon. The trail wasn’t crowded at all. It was rather sunny in some areas so it would best be explored on a cooler day. Definitely worth the visit! I hope to get back and ride the length of it on my bike. For more information, check out this site.


Travel Journal Ideas

I’m always on the lookout for travel journal suggestions. What works, what doesn’t, how much to pack . . . I think you get the idea! When I think of it, I save the ideas to my Pinterest board (Pinterest can be a black hole for me so I only go there when absolutely necessary!!)

I must have a bunch of journals, trying to figure out the right size and the right kind of paper. So far I seem to carry my Moleskine small Art Sketchbook the most (link). It doesn’t take up much space, and it handles watercolor well.

Recently, I purchased a Moleskine Two-Go Notebook (link) that has both lined pages and blank pages. I’m using it as a daily journal. The pages aren’t heavy enough to handle any kind of paint, but I do like having the blank pages for doodles, charts, or diagrams.

When I went to Iceland, I took a Stillman & Birn hardbound notebook. The paper was perfect for watercolor, but the book was too large for me to carry most days (I think I have the 8.5″ x 5.5″ Alpha). I ended up making entries when I got home, which kind of defeated the purpose.

Recently I purchased an 8″x8″ Ilio Sketchbook (link). I like the idea of having square pages. I haven’t tried it yet to know how it handles watercolor, but the paper is 180 GSM so it should be fine. It’s not as thick as the Stillman & Birn so it will be easier to carry.

Last night, I stumbled onto an excellent blog.  Minimal.Plan is a great site for travel journal ideas and insights (also Bullet Journal and general stationary info). I really enjoyed Claire’s post on how to make a travel journal.


Claire also has a post about how she documented her trip to Edinburgh (link).  She carried a FujiFilm camera with her that printed her photos right away in a Polaroid-style. So cute! She also took a Moleskine Cahier Journal, Squared (link). I really like this idea, and I think those notebooks will be small and thin enough to easily carry. They probably won’t work too well with watercolor, but if I just want to use photos instead, I think they would be perfect! Additionally, you’ve got to love the price – – just under 10$ for 3 of them!

I’m so excited to plan my next trip and my travel journal. I plan to borrow some of Claire’s ideas. I will probably carry both my small Moleskine art sketchbook and a Cahier journal (assuming I am taking watercolor supplies). If I’m just taking some washi tape and pens, then I may skip the Moleskine sketchbook.

Thank you, Claire, for all of the fabulous ideas!

What is your favorite journal for travel? Do you find you make time for watercolor in between your sightseeing?

Photo from Claire’s website:

Cambridge, Maryland, Visit

Recently I made a trip to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. This has become somewhat of a summer ritual for me. Normally, I head to Rock Hall and Chestertown. This year I changed it up a bit and spent some time on Kent Island before traveling to Cambridge.

Anyone traveling to Ocean City, Maryland, has passed through Cambridge. I’ve done that, not stopping for more than maybe gas or a snack. This time, however, I decided I wanted to explore the town.

I found an adorable Victorian on Airbnb and stayed with Ann in the historic section of town. Ann was very welcoming, and I picked a room that had a cute little balcony that overlooked her backyard. After getting settled, I took a walk down to the IMG_3711waterfront/marina area. It was a beautiful, but warm day, and I appreciated the breeze coming off the Choptank River. That evening I went to Snappers waterfront cafe for dinner. I ended up at the tiki bar, listening to live music while I had a drink and some food. My meal was nothing to write home about, but the music was fun and the drink—a coconut mojito—hit the spot! Continue reading “Cambridge, Maryland, Visit”

Allegheny Portage Railroad

This week I had a chance to visit the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site in Gallitzin, Pennsylvania.

I was impressed with the site’s Visitor Center. It’s a newer building with a variety of displays inside. There is also a movie, telling the story of the Railroad

and explaining how it worked. The movie was kind of hokey, but it provided information about the Incline and the Main Line canal system, key parts of Pennsylvania’s transportation history between 1830 and 1850.

Outside, there is a boardwalk through the woods that guides visitors to an overlook where remains of Incline No. 6 can be seen as well as the reconstructed Engine House 6. Beyond the Engine House, visitors can access the Lemon House. From the overlook, there is also a trail to the Skew Arch Bridge.

The Park wasn’t crowded when I visited. I enjoyed exploring the grounds and learning about the Incline. It was a gorgeous day, perfect for checking out the boardwalk and the Engine House.

If you find yourself in central-western Pennsylvania and enjoy history, be sure to stop by the Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS. Don’t forget to get your Passport stamp while you’re there!

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Thanks for the Visit

This is an experimental work-in-progress. Call it a test, if you will. I’ve had the idea of developing and maintaining a travel blog for some time. The problem comes not with the idea, but with the actual doing. So I’ve made myself a deal…I’m starting with a free blog. If I have success with this, I’m going to move to a site.

My goal is to talk about the places I’ve been, share photographs, and give insights into what worked for me and what didn’t. You may find coffee shop and restaurant recommendations, hiking trails and park visits, maybe even some urban adventures.

I invite you along for the ride–offer suggestions, feedback, comments, and generally help me stay on track!