This small part of Maryland is very near Virginia and West Virginia so we ventured just a few miles over to Harpers Ferry, WV. We had said that if we were ever in the area we definitely wanted to visit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters in Harpers Ferry. The visit was much like we had imagined it would be. The headquarters is a small, unassuming stone building just on the perimeter of the historic district of Harpers Ferry. The ATC is the "psychological midpoint" for those who are hiking the AT which runs from Georgia to Maine. We were able to hike a short segment of the AT, which only reignited that desire to do more of it. The trail goes through the campus of Storer College which has huge significance in the history of African-Americans and all seeking an education without regard to race or creed. It now serves as a federal training center. We are in awe of those who actually walk the 2100+ miles of the AT and at least one of us hopes to one day be among those who have successfully accomplised this feat.
Harpers Ferry is a small hamlet historically recreated. The town itself was significant during the American Revolution and again during the Civil War for its industrial importance. The interpretive rangers at Harpers Ferry will argue that the Civil War began there via the insurrection by John Brown, rather than with the first shot fired at Fort Sumter, SC.
Harpers Ferry is a very interesting place. Its history pre-dates the Civil War, although that is a major focus of its demonstrations. It is a beautiful area with spectacular views. We visited The Point where the Shenandoah River and the Potomac Rivers converge. Jefferson Rock was purchased by Thomas Jefferson from King George for a sum equal to about $2.40 so that all may enjoy the view. The view from Jefferson Rock is spectacular and the verdant view from Bolivar Heights is worth the short drive. If you have the opportunity to visit anywhere in the area, Harpers Ferry is definitely worth a visit. Even if you don't care for Civil War or history, there is still a lot to see and do. A one day car pass is good for three days and includes the shuttle bus to and from town.
With the visit to Harpers Ferry as the highlight of our Maryland stay, we enjoyed the campground's beautifully flowered rock garden and view along the Conochocheague Creek. The C&O Canal historic area is nearby, but runs 184 miles in actuality.
Leaving Maryland behind, we traveled to Natural Bridge, Virginia. We fully expected Natural Bridge to be a little cheesy based on the brochures and advertising, but were pleasantly surprised. The sign at Natural Bridge says it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. We thoroughly enjoyed the day, first hiking down to Natural Bridge, then to the reconstructed Monacan Indian village and on to Lace Falls.
We then toured the Caverns which take you on a stroll 34 stories beneath the surface, which are said to be the deepest caverns east of the Mississippi. We are in awe of the power of nature and what running water can create over time.
On the way back to the campground, we had a MUST SEE stop at Foamhenge - an exact replica of Stonehenge created in FOAM. You gotta see this one to believe it! This must beat the giant ball of yarn for wit and creativity...
The campground had a concert last night featuring Andy Brasher, a musician from Kentucky. Jerri enjoyed the live music while Kathy recovered from eating greasy fish and chips from the Pink Cadillac Diner. The food was initially tasty but not so digestible later.
Left Virginia and traveled south on I-81 to Kingsport, TN (just down the road from Bristol and the fastest half mile NASCAR track) today (7/11). We're at Rocky Top Campground which is a nice, quiet change from all the noisy children at the KOAs of the past few days. We plan to explore the area a little tomorrow and let you know what we find.
For those wondering about our travel agenda, we are heading back to Rabun County briefly to take care of some business before heading south and to points unknown. Just keep reading, it may or may not eventually make sense. It's all about the journey.
Until next time, find joy in the small stuff.