Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Harpers Ferry, WV

Last Saturday, I drove to Harpers Ferry with some fellow Brits where we spent the day strolling round the town and catching up on news. I parked at The Hilltop Hotel so I would have a good workout at the end of the day walking back up the steep hill. I was surprised to see no cars in the parking lot and then shocked to see 'caution' tape strung along the front of the hotel. It looked run down and had a neglected aura about it. I walked up to the doors and looked into the foyer, saddened to see how empty the entrance hall was. This was once filled with old paintings, ornaments, rugs and antique furniture. Further investigation with my nose pressed to every window I could find found that all the rooms were empty.

I chatted to a local who informed me that the hotel had been bought by a large company, (he didn't know who), along with quite a few other houses in the vicinity. The hotel would apparently re-open in 3 years time. Digesting that news, I headed down the hill to the town to meet up with the rest of the crew.

All the buildings in the town are old and it's easy to feel like you're stepping back in time. As well as reenactments with people dressed in period costumes, the frequent trains passing through and blowing their whistles lends an air of an industrial working town.

Making our first stop at a restaurant for lunch was a must as most of us were starving and I decided to try a cheese beer soup in a sourdough bread bowl with a bottle of beer on the side. The beer was great.

After lunch, shops had to be searched for souveniers and in my case, photos to be taken. I loved these glass globes above.

It was great meeting Abe Lincoln above who gave a very interesting, if lengthy, talk on life in Harpers Ferry while he was president. I strolled down to the river and managed to snap these guys below coming back from a whitewater trip splashing and paddling past the 3 ducks who managed to continue dozing on their rock.

Mary and I snuck off from the others and headed to the portrait shop where we had tremendous fun dressing up in period costumes for a photo session. Picking out the outfits was wonderful especially as we didn't have to worry about any colors matching our accessories since the photos would be printed in sepia. We had such a laugh but would've enjoyed it more if the Jack Daniels bottles weren't empty!

Later we walked up past the church to the graveyard where we sat on some rocks and enjoyed this spectacular view.

The graveyard was immaculately maintained and I saw these old Harper graves dating back to the 1870's. Just after sunset, we all separated to go home, most of the others taking a shuttle bus up the hill to their cars, while I tried to work off my stodgy lunch with a routemarch back to the Hilltop Hotel, bidding it a fond farewell and fervently hoping it wouldn't become a commercialized chain hotel stripped of all character when it reopened.

1 comment:

kemp-y-QUA!! said...

well written! sounds like much fun!

love the blog