Corvette Club of Delaware Valley - Mountain High

Touring national parks in style

John Machaqueiro Jan 11, 2012 0 Comment(s)
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Corvette clubs usually have members who share a wide range of tastes. With the larger clubs, you'll find a mix of "waxers," racers, diners, and day-trippers. Such is the case with the Corvette Club of Delaware Valley (CCDV), which is located in southeastern Pennsylvania. With more than 500 members, and a 50-year history, CCDV claims to be the second largest local Corvette club in the United States. Due to its large membership, the club's activities are frequent and varied. One that's enjoyed by many is the annual drive.

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When a trip is organized, CCDV members can point their Corvettes in any direction and enjoy a wide range of places to visit within a reasonable distance. In Pennsylvania, the majority of attractions can be found in and around the metropolitan areas of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. This year, the participating members decided on a 1,000-plus-mile, four-day trek that pointed west toward Pittsburgh.

Departing from the town of Willow Grove, the group hit the open road. Initially, the plan for day one was to travel on the scenic back roads across the state. However, that approach was derailed before it even started: Due to unprecedented flooding statewide, the group was forced to do the initial five-hour drive on the visually bland Pennsylvania Turnpike. After the long haul, the first leg concluded 75 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, near Fallingwater, located in Mill Run, Pennsylvania.

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For those you not familiar with Fallingwater, it's the name of an architecturally significant house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, arguably America's most famous architect. Built over a 30-foot waterfall for his clients, the Kaufmann family, it stands as one of Wright's greatest masterpieces for its integration with its natural surroundings. Completed with a guest-and-service wing in 1939, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. However, it was originally the Kaufmanns' weekend home, serving in that capacity from 1937 to 1963. In 1963, Edgar Kaufmann jr. donated the property to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and in 1964, it was opened to the public as a museum.

There are tours that run continuously through the house. More than just walkthroughs, these tours give visitors a deeper understanding of the relationship between the design elements used in the house and their connection with the natural surroundings. Visitors will see the fireplace hearth in the living room, which integrates boulders found on the site, and upon which the house was built. The ledge rock, which protrudes through the living-room floor, was left in place to link the outside with the inside. All functional aspects of the house, including most of the furniture, were designed by Wright and can be viewed by visitors. There is also a nice café, a museum store, and a gallery in the visitor center as you enter the facility. For an overnight stay in the area, there is no shortage of lodging, as most national chains have set up shop in the vicinity.

After the morning tour at Fallingwater, the remainder of day was spent traveling southeast towards Waynesboro, Virginia. The CCDV caravan took a scenic route through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and finally into Old Dominion as it headed to the next leg of the drive. After a few hours on the road, the group bunked down for the night at a hotel in Waynesboro, Virginia.

While day two of the trip was filled with culture, day three took the CCDV group to the entrance of the Skyline Drive. This road runs 105 miles north-south in the Shenandoah National Park, and is laid out along the crest of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, just west of Washington, D.C. Once you enter the park, you're a captive of sorts: There are only four places to enter or exit along the entire span.

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