"Oh, these horses are gorgeous!" said Sandra Cunningham, 58.
They were eying folks such as Allen Eckstine and his wife, Rachel, and their friend, Mike Dowe, who had clambered into a horse-drawn wagon for a slow ride between Clear Spring and Boonsboro.
Part of the 15th annual National Pike Festival, the ride began Friday evening and was scheduled to end this afternoon with about 30 horse-drawn wagons and 70 more riders on horseback.
The event was staged by Washington County and the James Shaull Wagon Train Foundation Inc. as a celebration of the historic road.
Allen Eckstine, 52, of Hagerstown, said he got into the wagon train because he's always been around horses. He also inherited a few old carriages from his family.
He said he has two buggies and one surrey with a fringe on top. He said he also owns three horses.
Dowe was driving Saturday, and even though the ride wasn't motor-powered, it wasn't bad, Rachel Eckstine said. The seats had cushions, and leaf springs cushioned the ride - a useful modification since the wooden wheels had only metal strips between them and the asphalt.
As their wagon rose over the bridge over Interstate 81, Allen Eckstine pointed below to the passing trucks.
"Yeah, those are the modern-day Conestogas," he said.
Rachel Eckstine said there's a relaxing quality to taking a horse-drawn ride along the route.
"It's just kind of fun to watch; sit, relax and watch everything go by," Rachel Eckstine said.
Looking around, she said the blacktop on the road, the utility poles and the homes that have popped up along the road have drastically changed the view since the first travelers used the road.
"But the one thing that would be about the same is people come out and greet you," she said.