Day 16: September 9, 2001
The Final Day

Hagerstown was the first reference point on what we expected to be our last day on the road.

Granny's Letters:

This is Sideling Mountain where the brakes "gave out" on the Model T. This massive cut was only completed in 1984 so Frank and Gertrude had to follow the more round-about route shown in the scale model pictured here. The last picture is our forward view coming down the reduced grade of the modern I-70. Rather frightening to imagine descending the old dirt road in a brakeless Ford.

Next, still very much in the mountains, came the town of Cumberland.

Much of the route we are following eastward is on the Historical National Road Scenic Byway. This existed long before even Model Ts were puttering around. This toll house was erected around 1833 and charged 6 cents for sheep & hogs and 12 cents for cattle. Fortunately, we had none.

Just past Frostburg, we came on this collection of farm buildings that looked like they would have been there in 1920 and seemed a candidate for the place where the machine was pulled in a building and Frank sharpened the drill.

When we saw this gathering of old Fords we just had to stop. It was a collection of seven Model As from Youngstown, Ohio, returning from an outing to Cumberland. We were torn between a respite at the tavern and getting home and getting home won. We'll definitely stop here next time.

We found the cluster of houses called Lloydsville but there were no city limit signs. We moved on to Zanesville with its impressive courthouse and famous 'Y' bridge.

Being in Ohio gave us a little more incentive to get home and we breezed through Columbus and would probably have done the same at Mechanicsburg if the streets had not been blocked for the Music and Crafts festival. It's kind of like Cincinnati's Jammin' on Main except it's more peaceful despite a higher percentage of streets being blocked. Frank & Gertrude camped in backyards and barns throughout their travels but when they reached Mutual, about 50 miles from home, "people seemed to be afraid" of them. Huh?

We're almost done now and Urbana, St. Paris and Piqua go by quickly. We were once again flirting with rain and it caught us as we left Piqua. Finally, the top went up.

We had both rain and darkness when we reached Woodington and even the camera seemed a little blurry after 4448 miles. We're home and we're done (except for the 100 mile drive home in pouring rain).

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