Not sure if anyone is still interest or reading this any more but will keep writing it for my own benefit anyway!
Decided to take a run out on Sunday to Harpers Ferry in West Virginia. I thought we were just going to check out a watersports place to arrange some Kayaking or tubing. I had no idea that Harpers Ferry was in fact a major historical area, almost as important to the American Civil war as Gettysburg.
THE HISTORY OF HARPERS FERRY HAS FEW PARALLELS IN THE AMERICAN DRAMA. It is more than one event, one date, or one individual. It is multi-layered – involving a diverse number of people and events that influenced the course of our nation's history. Harpers Ferry witnessed the first successful application of interchangeable manufacture, the arrival of the first successful American railroad, John Brown's attack on slavery, the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War, and the education of former slaves in one of the earliest integrated schools in the United States.
The Civil War had a profound and disastrous effect on Harpers Ferry, leaving a path of destruction that wrecked the town's economy and forced many residents to depart forever. Because of the town's strategic location on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, Union and Confederate troops moved through Harpers Ferry frequently. The town changed hands eight times between 1861 and 1865.
We had a lovely drive with the top down in the sports car. Zooming up north of Maryland and then across just into West Virginia. There is one spot you drive through where you actually pass through 3 different states in the space of about 30 seconds. We started by visiting the Water sports place, River Riders, and looking at all the fun sports they offer on the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. We ended up booking a Guide assisted White water Kayaking half day trip for the last weekend in July, so looking forward to this. We also got a permit for rough camping which is basically a permit to pitch a tent by the river. No facilities but just the bliss of nature and no people around. No showers or anything but the river is just there and the water temperature is usually about 80 degrees as it is quite shallow so I guess we can bathe in it. Will of course report back once this weekend happens.
We then drove into Harpers Ferry state park and got the bus into the historical village where we just wandered around looking at all the old buildings, had a bite of lunch and then bus back to the car. Harpers Ferry is also on the Appalachian Trail and Jarlath is even more determined to walk or bike part of this – in fact you can actually bike from our house in DC along the C & O Canal up to Harpers Ferry – I think it is about 60 miles or something and Jar wants to try it but I am not sure.
Here are some photos:
Monday we started our next course of dancing lessons with the Argentine Tango. I was expecting the same beat as the previous tango we had done but found out that the Argentine tango is in individual steps and not Slow, slow, quick, quick slow. A bit disappointed in that because I thought we could build on the steps we had previously learned. Got some basic steps but were both struggling with the music as there is no strong beat to follow like in ballroom. Still fun doing something together. Also, there was one girl in the class that kept bursting into body popping dance while we were being shown a new step which was very rude and off putting. Jar had a word with the teacher about it it was that bad.
The rest of the week was just caught up in getting ready for our housewarming BBQ on Saturday. I bought a volleyball net and ball to set up for fun. We also bought a sun canopy to go up in the garden, we needed a new one for camping anyway. I also had to make sure we had enough beer and food in as about 50 people said they were coming, I didn’t even realize we knew 50 people already!
I also tried my road bike again after the disaster of my puncture last time. I was a bit nervous but decided to bike to the library again as it is only about 3 miles away so worst case I would only have a short walk back. I took back my audio book and yoga books and picked up another audio book. I got Never Let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro which I have already read but wanted to do a re-read so thought I would try another audio book. I can’t believe the amazing choice of audio books they have at the local library.
Well Saturday came and our housewarming BBQ. We set up a tressle table in the stables as the bar and a tressle table outside under the canopy for the food. I made loads of side dishes mainly from Delia smith book and they all turned out quite yummy. People started turning up just after 5.00p.m. and the evening went by in a blur of food and chat. I made Kim the photographer so blame her for the photos. American BBQs are quite different to back in the UK. For one, when you invite people it is automatically assumed that they can bring their whole families and it is not unusual for people to pop in and out for a couple of hours. Most people stayed quite late though as they seemed to be enjoying themselves. I had so much food left that it looked like no-one had eaten anything but they all seemed to be full up. For dessert I decided to use my Fondue set for the first ever time and made a chocolate fondue with marshmallows, strawberries, pineapples and pound cake to dip in. This went down an absolute treat and there was even a queue of people at one point waiting in line to get to the fondue pot! So simple but effective. Eventually there was only about 10 of us left so we lit the fire and went to the fire circle to sit and chat around it. More marshmallows over the fire and lots of fun chat. We tried to have a campfire sing song but as everyone was completely tone deaf it didn’t really take off the ground. Lit the Shisha pipe and it was so much fun just passing it around the circle as well. Ended up about 2.00a.m. and everyone went except Simon and Dawn who were crashing in the spare room for the night. It was so funny ‘cause Simon was a bit pissed and insisted on opening a bottle of red wine for a nightcap.
So I think our first party over here was a success and a fun end to a normal week.
Will go there so I don’t bore you all too much more. Take care. Xx