Were the nine hours I spent driving worth the 24 hours I spent in West Virginia?  Any other weekend I would probably say no, but… because it was nearly peak fall foliage, I think it absolutely was.

I left DC at noon on Saturday and arrived in Snowshoe a little before 5pm.  When I arrived, the lovely hostess gave me a million pieces of information all at once.  The two most intriguing bits were… There is a neighborhood bear, and if I open my bedroom windows, don’t leave food on the windowsill.  Noted.  The second was that the Freefall Festival was going on with concerts, beer and food.  Also, noted.

About an hour later I walked up to the Freefall Festival and Snowshoe.  It was like a mountain biking hippy festival in the middle of the mountains.  And all I could do was wonder how everyone found the secret hangout.  The sunset was incredible.  I didn’t stay too late as I was wiped, but it was a bit of the unexpected as this wasn’t why I had driven to West Virginia.

The reason I had driven to West Virginia was to ride on the Cass Scenic Railway, number four on National Geographic Traveler’s top American train rides during peak fall foliage weekend.