The past three weeks have flown by in Frostburg -- a small town of 9,000 folks at 2100'. Not a lot of hustle and bustle, which is perfect, and I'm enjoying the mountain views on every walk and ride.
Frostburg was put on the map in 1811 by the National Road, the first federally funded 620-mile "highway" connecting the Potomac and Ohio Rivers. Originally called Mount Pleasant, it was renamed for Meshach and Catherine Frost in 1820 when the postal service arrived. The Frosts built the first house here in 1812, were the first major coal producers in the area, and had great success due to the railroad lines. The other major influence in Frostburg came in 1898 with the authorization for a school that today is Frostburg State University, adding over 5,000 students to town (though nary a one this summer).
The mountains, the coal mining, the railroad, and the University have an obvious impact on the Frostburg culture, and it's quite a little microcosm of the USA. On Main Street, you can have a cone at the Frostburg Freeze, a beer at the Moose Lodge, or sip under the tent at the Toasted Goat Winery. Folks are here to ride ATVs or do some fly fishing, to hike Savage Mountain, and to bike along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). The coal industry is gone; the railroad lines are biking, walking and ski trails; and the forests and mountains are shared by a variety of sports enthusiasts.
More than a decade ago, I biked Pittsburgh to DC along the GAP and C&O trails, but Frostburg wasn't a stop. So, I'm quite pleased to be here cycling again, living in a cozy spot reading, writing and cooking, and spending time poking around town. I've shared a long chat at the Winery with a dear friend; a friendly conversation with a GAP thru-rider; and a hundred hellos all around town. The photos tell the rest of this story!
Next up, a 500-mile push to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. I'm living month-to-month right now so I still feel like I'm traveling, but my true wish list is close at hand.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover