Washington DC, Day Five

View of Maryland from the Sideling Hill rest area, westbound I-68.

View of Maryland from the Sideling Hill rest area, westbound I-68.

I let this post slip because there really wasn’t that much to report. We got started home later than normally we would because we were trying to avoid the morning rush in Washington. Mrs. Garmin directed us on a route, though, that could have been okay except it had lots of construction, so we crawled along for quite awhile. On the up side, we passed the National Cathedral and saw some sections of the area we would have missed otherwise.

Once we got on I-295, it was clear sailing. We lucked out with a beautiful (and much cooler, naturally) day to begin our return. Maryland was gorgeous and green, a real treat to gaze upon whether passing through farmland or mountains. In Cumberland, I accomplished a goal I planned for this trip, although I had already given up on it.

I’ve always loved Roy Rogers roast beef sandwiches, especially topped with a combination of barbeque and horseradish sauces. I haven’t had one in years; all the Cincinnati Roy Rogers closed down ages ago. (There was a hold-out near Eastgate no longer called Roy Rogers but still serving their menu; I just heard about it in the spring, but before I could get there, they suddenly closed). I searched online and found there were quite a few Roy Rogers restaurants in the area around Washington, DC. I figured there would be some opportunity to stop in one of them for a meal.

Pass the barbeque sauce, at least two cups.

Pass the barbeque sauce, at least two cups.

When we first started seeing the Interstate restaurant signs that included Roy Rogers, I’d gasp and moan, “Roy Rogers!” Diamondqueen didn’t believe the sandwiches would be as good as they used to be, plus it never seemed to be the right time, etc., etc. We reached DC without so much as a sliver of roast beef. On our way out, it was too early for lunch. I gazed as the signs shot past but I didn’t waste energy moaning about it. A barbeque-horseradish-drenched sandwich just wasn’t to be.

Later, as we drove through western Maryland, Diamondqueen commented we’d need gas and probably should stop for lunch. I didn’t say a word, not even when the restaurant signs for Cumberland appeared and included those magic words “Roy Rogers.”

Diamondqueen saw the sign as well. She said in an exasperated tone, “Do you want to have lunch at Roy Rogers?” I stared at her with the sorrowful pout S.Hooligan uses when she wants something.

It turned out to be a good choice for all of us. The kids both chose bacon cheeseburgers, and even S.Hooligan wolfed hers down, a minor miracle. It was a neat, clean eatery, with a fresh carnation on each table and a friendly worker who distributed after-dinner mints when we were through. The sandwiches were as I remembered them. Sated, as we continued on through Maryland, I realized we’d taken our very last opportunity to eat at Roy Rogers. No more restaurant signs appeared, at least not between Cumberland and I-79.

The rest of the long, wearying drive for Diamondqueen went fairly smoothly, although clouds gathered once we’d passed Washington, PA, on I-70. East of Zanesville I awoke from a nap to see low gray skies and an oncoming curtain of rain. It was an especially heavy downpour, but it seemed Diamondqueen barely slowed. Some traffic tie-ups around and just south of Columbus, another bout of rain as we entered Warren County, and finally we were pulling into the driveway. Our Washington, DC, sojourn had come to an end.

I consider it a fine trip, even with the misery of the heat and all the foot and hip problems with walking. It’s one of those vacations I’ll digest all summer. Although I might get a bit of a nervous tic when I watch the 4th of July concert from the National Mall. There are a lot of physical sensations associated with those famous monuments that might flood over me in a post-traumatic kind of way.

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