"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Friday, May 24, 2013

Today's HIKE: Harpers Ferry

We had been planning this trip since last week, and had originally planned it for yesterday Thursday, but the forecast said severe storms and possibly large hail in Harpers Ferry, so we took the day for other things (namely going to the feed store and then stopping by my vet's to get more GastroGard for Lily...) and moved our plans for today. The forecast had said 20%-30% chance of rain, with showers in the morning and sun in the afternoon. The big difference from yesterday to today was going to be the temperature: it was in the high 80's yesterday, and today it was in the 50's!

We left the house at 8:00 am to start the hour drive north. It was cold, and it drizzled most of the way up.

Gorgeous countryside

More insane green
The mountains!
The Potomac

Arriving at the park

We took the shuttle into town. They have a beautiful little old fashioned church with stained-glass windows. It's right on the edge of a cliff.

The Potomac. I read the Lewis and Clark story when I was a kid, and this view just reminded me of the descriptions in the book. 

This was our first time seeing true Northeast forests. Charles joked that it's pretty awesome when you realize that what you saw in movies before is actually even better in real life!

A family of Canadian geese braved the river, crossing from one side to the other through the little rapids.

Train tracks on the left.


The town in early morning. It kind of looked like a ghost town-only a handful of people around.

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The town. 

The Appalachian trail runs right through the center of Harpers Ferry. LOTS of hikers!

This view reminded us so much of the mountains back on the island! At some point I need to write a post on PR.

Tunnel, with a view of the river beyond.

Behind us is the point where the Potomac and the Shenandoah rivers join.

Shenandoah side

Harpers Ferry is almost the exact middle point of the Appalachian Trail. 

Pedestrian bridge next to the train bridge.

Stairs winding down from the bridge.

Under the bridge. In this photo it looks like the sun had come out. It had not!

C&O Canal trail

The wind whipping the trees. This was constant! They were 20mph. Add that to 50 degree weather on an overcast day: it was freezing cold!

More wind

Small rapids

Up the Maryland Heights trail

It was beautiful!

Back in town. No change in the wind.

We went up those stairs later. They led to the Jefferson Rock.

We had lunch at this little inn, sitting right on their porch.

The food was pretty amazing. I ordered chili, and Charles ordered the pulled pork sandwich. We had checked out the reviews of several of the pubs and taverns in town, and they were so-so. Not the Town Inn! We then stopped by the Coffee Mill for a vanilla capuccino and funnel cake, both of which we shared.  We then tackled the stairs that led past the little church. 
View close to Jefferson's Rock

Jefferson's Rock
We hiked up part of the way past the rock, then turned around and headed back, as by then the place was crawling with people, especially kids. There were like 6 bus loads' worth of middle school kids. Charles and I were happy to discover that, while we need some work to get back to our old level of fitness, we are in better shape than a lot of those kids attempting to climb up those steps! Ha!

We'll be back. We have a list of things we want to do for next time, and it would be nice if we could just stay overnight to explore at leisure. 

Once back home, we stopped by the barn so I could walk Lily for 25 minutes and give her her GastroGard. She is MUCH better on the GI front, which has meant she has been MUCH better mentally as well. I think part of her spazzing out last week was her upset stomach. Despite the wind, the cold, and the horses playing in the field next door, she was an awesomely good girl:

I put her Thermomanager on for the walk. It was cold, and she's almost completely lost her winter coat by now.


  1. Wait? Harpers Ferry, WV?! Are you a fellow West Virginian or just visiting the mountain state?

    1. We were visiting. :) but we're not far: we're next door in MD. It only took us 40 min to get to Harpers Ferry from where we live. WV is gorgeous!

    2. Got ya! I live in the northern part of the state, but WV is very pretty just about everywhere!