<a href=”http://vampsandscamps.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/hptown1.jpg”>Yep – you heard right… crazy person that I am, I accompanied my hubby on a really quick business trip just before I had to set out for SC and my Writers’s Hermit Week.
DH had a business meeting at the National Conservation Training Center just outside of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. We left home in Tennessee at 4:20PM Thursday afternoon and headed north and east. Drove 5 hours… stopped for the night at a little place called New Market, VA. Up early the next morning and on to Shepherdstown (the oldest town in WVA). It also has the distinction of having been in both Virginia AND West Virginia because of the vagaries of the Civil War.
Fall is lovely there, still, though the leaves are a bit past their prime. The NCTC is a wonderful facility used by all sorts of government agencies… though it belongs to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Think of a pretty rural college campus nestled in the woods, and you get an idea. Clinton hosted a peace summit here in 2000. The NCTC is eleven years old, but everything still looks brand new, because it has been cared for really well. They even have a daycare on campus for employees children. On Halloween I saw a dozen little four year olds out for a brisk autumn walk with two of their teachers. If you look closely in one of the deer pictures, you can see one of the buildings.
Dh had a break late Friday afternoon, so we dashed over to Harpers Ferry to do some exploring. We’d been there a long time ago, but it was fun to see it again. We walked over the bridge that crosses the Potomac. When you get to the other side, you are in Maryland! This bridge is also part of the Appalachian Trail. My hubby is on the board of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and that is why we were in WVA.
Saturday he had one more narrow window, so we scooted over to Antietam. Again – a place we had visited before, but it never fails to impress and to make you think. Antietam (Sept. 17, 1862) has the dubious distinction of being the single bloodiest day of the entire Civil War. Amidst woods and cornfields the two sides clashed three separate times that day, and in the end, there were over 5000 dead soldies littering the ground. Standing there in the bright afternoon sunlight with the wind blowing through the dead cornstalks, you can almost imagine ghostly figures all around you.
The sunken road (later named the Bloody Lane) was the site of the morning clash. And the peaceful looking bridge was another. The large tree you see at the other end of the bridge was there when the battle happened. It helps to have a Civil War buff in the car with you. Charles gave me a running commentary about which troops converged where. Made it seem even more real.
We left the NCTC at 5PM and headed back toward home.. got in after midnight. Yawn. Luckily – we gained an hour.
Sunday morning Charles helped me finish packing and loading the car. I headed off to Isle of Palms, SC for a writers’ Hermit Week. I did this last year, and it was not only exptremely productive, but lots of fun. The writers here – to name a few – Stephanie Bond, Rita Herron, Jennifer St. Giles, Wendy Etherington, Raven Hart, Nina Bruhns, Robin Owens, Jacquie D’Alessandro, and several more.
It rained hard during the night last night, but now it looks like the sun is trying to break through. The ocean is sullen and moody today, but beautiful even in this mood.
I’ll probably pick up a few freebie books this week, so I’ll give a small prize away to one poster today. I’ll announce the winner sometime Wednesday evening. Drop by and say hello!
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