An Afternoon Step Back in Time

Saturdays are arguably the best day of any week – right? I certainly think so; since most of the time Saturday lies ahead of us like an open book, waiting to be explored. Living in this part of the country I’ve come to find that there is no end of places to explore as long as there is time…ha; finding somewhere to go is never hard, it seems finding the time to go see the place is more difficult!

This past Saturday afternoon once I came home from work and my Dad also came home from work, we decided we’d go try out a restaurant that my parent’s had heard about but never been to – John’s Family Restaurant in Rippon, West Virginia…which happens to be only about 30 minutes from where we live! The place looked like an absolute hole in the wall but as I’ve learned, sometimes those are the best places to eat and John’s was certainly no exception – the food was delicious! My Mom may have mentioned two or three times that her steak was one of the best she’d ever eaten, so John’s got a check on the list of places we’d all like to come back and eat!

We ate early on Saturday; we were done by about 5:30 and decided since Harper’s Ferry was only about 15 minutes more up the road and there was still at least a good two and a half to three hours of sunlight left, we’d take a ride up the road and wander around.

A lovely house…but I can’t imagine carting groceries up those steps!

Harper’s Ferry is a town situated on the convergence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers…which I decided to call the Shenomac River…or Potoandoah River…you decide. It’s been a town since it was established way back in 1763 and served as a US armory for some time; it’s probably best known for the raid that abolitionist John Brown led on the armory in 1859 which ended rather disastrously. It also played a part in the Civil War; there was a battle there on September 13th that went on for two days before ending; it also changed hands eight time in the four years that the Civil War raged, being located on the rivers provided the town with strategic position…much to the tragedy of the town and it’s people.

The town became a National Historic Park in 1944 and still serves as that today. It has historical exhibits as well as restaurants, shops that cater both to today’s time period and eras long past as well as a multitude of bed and breakfasts located in houses that have seen more history than I can imagine. Outdoor activities are also popular in the area – canoeing, rafting, fishing and hiking – which I’d like to partake in some other time!

An outdoors shop – with a sign that looks like it dates back just a few years, ha-ha!

Some of the building in Harper’s Ferry…no doubt made to look like you’ve been plopped down in the middle of the 18th century!

The Stone House Bed & Breakfast – also a restaurant!

I wandered down an alleyway between some houses & stumbled onto this scene…

The General Store in the distance…

We wandered in and out of shops – my Mom and I found a new favorite store that sells nothing but fair trade items and was immensely fascinating! I plan to do some Christmas shopping there…so someone might be getting a belt made our of an old tire, ha-ha! The most unique thing we saw as we wandered around was certainly the woman and her daughter who were walking their pet goat on a leash…yes, a goat on a leash. There were no words! It seemed that quite a few people had the same idea as we did; the town was positively bustling with people as they strolled in and out of shops, ordered some frozen custard from one of the multiple ice cream shops and pored over the historical markers.

Outside the “hotel” in Harper’s Ferry!

I don’t even know what kind of crazy pose I was going for here…I’m not right…

We went down to the edge of the river(s) and walked across the bridge that stretches over the river and disappears into the mountainside – the Amtrak still runs through the town and uses the same bridge to go to and fro. I’ve yet to be on the bridge when a train whizzes past but I can imagine it’s quite the experience. It was a warm afternoon and there were plenty of kids splashing around in the river as well as fisherman, rafters and the occasional canoe that passed under the bridge as we stood and looked over the sides.

Down the river(s) they float…

Can you spy the fisherman?

This bridge was constructed in 1893 – I only hope it’s been repaired a few times since then…

Looking across one railway track to another, located a bit further up the river.

The town of Harper’s Ferry from across the water!

Staring down into the water from high above on the bridge!

It’s hard to tell but there were two kids on the island & they were having the time of their lives – putting aside the question of where there parents might be, I witnessed how vivid their imaginations were as they acted out all kinds of scenarios from their perch on the rock…

Do you see the really large fish??

There was a lock here & there on the bridge – people seem to be trying to make this bridge similar to the one in Paris.

As I mentioned – there is actually a good bit to do here in this sleepy little town and one of the things is to hike to the top of the rock outcropping located on the opposite side of the river from the town. My Dad has done just that before and I’ve seen the pictures of the awesome views. We didn’t do that this time, since the hike is (I believe) at least over a mile and no one really wants to be in the woods after dark…I mean, I know I don’t. We did see people sitting on the rocks high above the river and I’m certain the next time I go, that will be on my list of things to do!

The bridge disappearing into the rock face…we’ll have to climb up next time!

The town viewed as you come off the bridge!

A tunnel under the bridge…leading to?

Another look at some of the historical buildings…

I took quite a lot of pictures – hence the post dedicated solely to our afternoon activity. I knew that they wouldn’t all fit if they were added to another post, ha-ha!

The Captain’s offices…or something of the sort…everything is themed as if you’ve stepped back in time about 200 years!

Care to buy anything from the General Store? They’ve got plenty to choose from.

Another building…looking all historical…

The Catholic church located high atop the hill.

My Dad & I made the short climb up to the church – it was already closed but I’ll take a peek inside next time!

The sun begins to set on the little town of Harper’s Ferry!

Imagine climbing those steps in the dark…eek!

I loved this little sign for the Stone House – so cute!

One of the restaurants in the town – I loved all the umbrellas dotting the porch!

We finished our wanderings around the town by stopping on the walk back to the car to get frozen custard. I got the vanilla and raspberry swirl and it was absolutely delicious. All in all, a wonderful way to end a splendid Saturday afternoon!


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