Maryland/Virginia 2023

Manassas, Shenandoah

Day 7

Today marked our final morning with the Pinkertons (and in Maryland), after a very fun and eventful week in Havre de Grace.

Breakfast // Goodbyes

We woke up, ate some homemade “Egg McMuffins” for breakfast, and said our goodbyes to the Pinkertons. After loading up the car, we hit the road, headed south for the next leg of our trip.

Rock // Wegman's

We didn’t make it but a few miles on I-95, when a HUGE rock flew out of a dump truck in front of us and hit our windshield. Thankfully, it just barely grazed the glass, and only left a superficial scratch. Even so, we were both pretty shaken, so we decided to pull off, get our composure, and check for any damage.

Just off the interstate in Abingdon, MD, we made a bit of a spontaneous decision to stop at Wegman’s, a privately owned supermarket chain known for its giant stores. It was truly a grocery store unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. The flower department alone was larger than our home in Boone. There was a second section of milk, as big as you’d see in a Food Lion in NC, by the checkouts in case you didn’t want to walk all the way to the back of the store to get some.

We got a cheese, fruit, and nut snack tray from the deli department (which was larger than our local grocery stores in Boone). I was particularly attracted by the Beecher’s cheddar, which was of course excellent. Resuming our drive, we ate our snack tray as we drove through Baltimore and DC – thankfully, rock-free.

Front Royal

Back on the road, we headed to the small Virginia town of Front Royal, and stopped downtown to pick up a couple coffees from Main Street Daily Grind CAFÉ. We walked around downtown, but had to get back on the road soon in order to stick with our timeline for the day.

Shenandoah National Park

Just south of downtown Front Royal is the northernmost entrance to Shenandoah National Park. We paid a day’s admission fee at the park, and began driving south on Skyline Drive, the park’s famous scenic road. The road is akin to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and offers beautiful views of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains.

Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive stretches 105 miles from Front Royal to Rockfish Gap, where it connects with the northernmost point of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We didn’t have time to drive all of it in one day, so we just drove from Front Royal down to Thornton Gap.

Not far from the entrance, we pulled in the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center to grab a magnet to add to our collection. In the parking lot, a young woman was having car trouble. The park rangers didn’t have any jumper cables, so I took my battery jump starter pack and helped her get back on the road again. (P.S.: I would highly recommend getting one of these instead of jumper cables – many modern cars won’t easily jump off with traditional jumper cables anymore.) It was very smokey from some wildfires, but we still could enjoy some great views from the road, and we occasionally pulled over to snap a picture of a particularly compelling vista.

At Thornton Gap, we exited the park and headed west on US-211 to Luray and White House, VA, where we turned south on US-340 and drove south to our lodging for the next few days.

Massanutten Rendezvous

Mom’s birthday was Saturday (it was now Friday), so we met up with her and Dad in Massanutten, VA, where we’d rented an Airbnb for the rest of the weekend. We unloaded our cars, settled into the house, and then loaded up again to head to dinner.

Hank's Grille

We drove a short distance to Hank’s Grille & Catering, a place Mom had spotted on the way in. For an appetizer, we ordered KC-style burnt ends, and got a selection of grilled and smoked meats, plus some southern-style sides. The food was all good, but not exceptional. The only thing we didn’t really enjoy was the burnt ends appetizer – they came doused in an espresso barbecue sauce that was a little strange. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our meal and the time together.

Kline's Dairy Bar

After dinner, we headed over to Kline’s Dairy Bar, a short drive down the road from the restaurant. Kline’s, which has multiple locations in the area, specializes in homemade custards, and has just a few flavors each day. We got all four flavors they had that day: pumpkin, chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate brownie batter. All were very good, and were a great way to cap off the evening.

Kline's Dairy Bar
Massanutten, VA

Great custard, with a small selection of rotating flavors. [By custard standards, it’s excellent, but wouldn’t rank as highly if compared to all types of ice cream.]

* – Would definitely visit again

** – Exceptional, must visit if you’re in the area

*** – Worth making a special trip to eat there

For more info on food ratings, click here.

The Best Things we Saw Today


The best thing I saw today was… “Skyline Drive and the battlefield in Manassas”.

The best thing I ate today was… “Kline’s Dairy Bar”.


The best thing I saw today was… “Skyline Drive”.

The best thing I ate today was… “Kline’s”.


The best thing I saw today was… “the drive up to Harrisonburg”.

The best thing I ate today was… “Kline’s Dairy Bar”.


The best thing I saw today was… “the drive up to Virginia”.

The best thing I ate today was… “the custard”.


Tomorrow, Dad and I will watch the football game, while Mom, Faith, and Walker explore the Harrisonburg area.

– The Churches

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