Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Trip to Grandma's Part II: Harpers Ferry


The day after the Air & Space Museum, we decided we wanted to spend more time outdoors because the weather was beautiful, so we headed over to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, a small town that's also a national park about 30 minutes from Grandma & Grandpa's house.

We arrived at the park visitors center and then rode a shuttle bus down to the town. It was a nice ride with beautiful views.



Harpers Ferry is a unique place- it's a town at the convergence of two rivers, the Shenandoah and the Potomac. It's also right near the borders of 3 different states: Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. Bet you didn't know Moppy would get to see that many states on her American adventure!


Before I tell you more about Harpers Ferry, however, I'll take a moment to tell you about a fun activity we've been doing this summer- rocking! What is rocking? It's pretty simple- you get some smooth rocks, you paint them with whatever designs you want, and then you leave them places for people to find. When they find them, they can choose to leave them, keep them or re-hide them somewhere else. People also usually take photos of the rocks to post to the social media pages for the different local rocking groups.

We didn't go to Harpers Ferry expecting to find rocks- not all locations do it- but when we got there, we found lots! We were so excited!



These were just a few of our favorites. Maybe when Moppy comes home she can help you start a rocking group in Japan! It's great fun and it's a good way to use your creativity, show kindness to others, spend time with your family, and get exercise as you go rock hunting.



Back to Harpers Ferry! Do you know what kind of hat Moppy is wearing? Here's a hint: North vs. South; Union vs. Confederate... these were the two sides who fought in the U.S. Civil War which lasted from 1861 to 1865. It's a big part of our nation's history, and Harpers Ferry had a tough time during that war because it changed hands EIGHT times during the war! This was most likely because of its strategic location: it was on a supply line, and it was the location of an armory where weapons were made.

Since we're from Richmond- a Confederate city- we thought Moppy should fight for the South, so she's wearing a gray soldier's cap.




This is the beautiful church high up on a hill overlooking the river.




Here's another view of the church from further up the hill above it. We hiked up the hill so we could check out the view from Jefferson Rock, where Thomas Jefferson, one of America's founding fathers, said "This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic." Maybe across the Pacific too? ;-) 






The view is certainly different now than it was in Jefferson's day, but still very beautiful.




Moppy loved it up there!




The kids and Moppy posed with Grandma.




On the way back down I snapped a photo of this cool ruin of another church. Can you see the railroad bridge across the river in the background?




We stopped to get a photo of the kids and Moppy in front of the church.




Then Moppy got thrown in prison! That mischievous little monster!




Just kidding- she was really just checking out one of these root cellars.




Many of the buildings in the town have little exhibits with items from the Civil War. Here is Moppy with a cannonball. I certainly wouldn't want to see that flying through the air!




Another interesting thing about Harpers Ferry is that it is part of the Appalachian Trail, a hiking trail that is over 2,000 miles long and goes all the way from the state of Maine in the north down to Georgia in the south- and through every state in between! Every year many people make the trek from one state to the other, camping out along the way. As someone who loves hiking, it's something I've always wanted to try, especially if you get to see such beautiful places like Harpers Ferry along the way. Do you have any really long hiking trails like that in Japan?




After exploring the town, we got some ice cream and then made our way across the railroad bridge- but don't worry, they have half of it designed just for pedestrians so there's no risk of getting run over by a train!




When we got to the other side, we found some large rocks down by the river and sat down to take a rest. Looks like Moppy and Audrey are both tuckered out!




This was a sign with an aerial photograph of Harpers Ferry and it shows the different parts of the town, like Jefferson's Rock (near the top) and the church.



This was just a beautiful area down by the river. So peaceful!




And here's one last view looking up one of the streets in the town. We had a wonderful day there, and just like the Air & Space museum, there was more to see than we had time for! So we are looking forward to returning for another visit to see even more.

We hope you enjoyed our day in Harpers Ferry! Stay tuned for one more look at the fun we had visiting Grandma...

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