Sept. 24 – Shenandoah National Park and Harpers Ferry

Yesterday, we had hoped to take Blue Ridge Parkway all the way North, which ends just shy of Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. However, we ran out of time after admiring all there is to see and didn’t want to rush through like we had to in The Smokies. Skyline drive is 105 miles long and runs the entire length of Shenandoah National Park. We drove about 70 of them, stopping frequently to take pictures of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. We also visited the Harry F. Byrd Visitors center within the park for our first passport cancelation of the day. Shenandoah National Park

Unfortunately, we weren’t going to have much time to explore West Virginia so we decided to spend it in Harpers Ferry. Most of the town is part of the National Parks system and we arrived at the main Visitor’s Center just before 5 PM. A shuttle bus brought us down to the historic town, where the Battle of Harpers Ferry was won by the Confederate Army, resulting in the largest surrender of Federal forces in the Civil War. This is also where abolitionist John Brown was captured and hanged after attacking a federal arsenal.

Harpers Ferry has been maintained to conjure the Civil War era and many of the storefronts have been restored to their original appearance. Most of the stores were closed by the time we arrived but we did stop in Cool Confectionaries, a candy store that offers authentic treats from the Civil War era all the way up to the 1950’s. I was psyched to find a peanut brittle made from an original recipe by George Washington Carver that was sans dairy!

Next, we visited St. Peters Roman Catholic Church, a active Gothic style church which is also the meeting place for Ghost Tours of Harpers Ferry, which claims to be the best ghost tour in the U.S. We then crossed the road to the Harpers Ferry Railroad Bridge, which is short a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Potomac. Along the walkway, we saw a number of different locks randomly placed along the fence and had to look up their significance. They are called Love Locks and it was pretty neat to read the inscriptions. Lastly, we walked down to the waterfront, where we watched two huge ducks placidly floating in the river. That is until they heard me open my peanut brittle. Jay and I almost had to make a run for it as these tourist-fed fatties waddled after us and my candy!

Our home for tonight is a Walmart in Charles Town. WV. This may be our last Walmart sleepover on this trip and I think it’s my favorite. Although I already had dinner planned for the evening, we were mesmerized by the intoxicating smell of Chinese food emanating from China Fortune Restaurant, which is less than 300 feet away from where we parked Lady T. While I waited for our takeout, I watched the second most beautiful sunset on this trip from the parking lot.

Check in with us tomorrow as we head to Washington DC to explore the capital city!

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