Today was supposed to just be a travel day. But serendipity found us.
We were headed from Gettysburg, PA to Greenville, VA. Right about mid-morning snack time we were passing over the Potomac River just inside West Virginia. We were also going by signs for Harpers Ferry - and did a quick on-the-road web search because we recognized the name but couldn’t remember why. Hearing that it was where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers came together I wanted to make it our stop for a mid-morning snack.
We missed the entrance to the Harpers Ferry National Park, so had to swing a U-turn to get back (including a 3-point turn involving backing up the trailer). At first when we learned of the $6 entrance fee we were just going to bail, but then remembered that we had intended on buying a seasonal National Parks pass. So we did that and stayed - still intending on just a quick walk down to the river, eating a muffin on the way. I didn’t even grab my DSLR camera - so all I had was my iPhone.
However the visitor center is a small distance from the “low town” portion of Harpers Ferry, along with the river confluence. A shuttle was waiting so we climbed on. It was well worth the delay in our travel - what a beautiful spot with the hills all around, the rivers, the lazy clouded sky, and the building architecture (including surely what must be one of the most photogenic churches in the US). The location also played into the Civil War history we learned in Gettysburg being the location of Abolitionist John Browns initial raids. Meriwether Lewis also started provisioning his big expedition here. Amtrak has a station here along what must be a very pretty train ride. The stairs to the church that we are climbing in the video are also considered part of the Appalachian Trail, and lead to “Jefferson Rock” where Thomas Jefferson stood on October 25, 1783. He found the view from the rock impressive and wrote that “this scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic”
After an hour of exploration we headed back to the trailer, heated up some soup for a quick lunch, and continued on our way.