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Harpers Ferry, WV and E.P.I.C.

April 19, 2013

West Virginia – Friday, April 12

Hello West Virginia! I woke up to a very rainy morning, and it had rained most of the night also, so I was glad I had finished everything I wanted to do in Washington DC. I was in no hurry to load up in the rain, and waited until it had let up a little. And then I was ready to head to West Virginia – State #29! I had to drive through part of Maryland, and then we entered West Virginia at the east end of its panhandle.

After just a couple miles, we came to the Harpers Ferry National Historic Site, so I stopped by to see what all was there. Harpers Ferry is located at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, and played a big part in the Civil War. Tula and I started off with a 2 1/4 mile walk back to the site of one of the major battlefields. Then I decided we would walk down to the “lower town” – the national park provides a frequent shuttle bus back and forth since it’s a mile and a half away with a 300 foot drop, but there was also a trail for those who wanted to walk. And Tula seemed to be more her usual self, so we set off for the lower town, which was sort of a step back in time with wonderful old historic buildings. With 2 rivers and lots of current, this town operated cotton mills and pulp mills back in the 1800s, and several foundations were still there. But, there were also numerous bad floods due to the town’s location right on the banks of 2 rivers, and eventually the town was abandoned. Now there are gift shops, a small museum, restaurants and ice cream places. Tula and I walked up and down the main streets, and walked out by the Shenandoah River where she took a short swim, and crossed a bridge to an island and walked around that. Then we began the walk back. By the time we returned, we had covered all 8 miles for the day, counting our walk out to the battlefield.

I had to find an office supply store to see if someone could help me print off some additional tax forms from my computer, and I found a Staples with a very helpful copy person. I had intended to have my taxes finished by now, but on Tuesday I discovered I had left my tax folder at Tara’s house when I had been in Ohio. So she sent the folder to me in Washington, and I only got it last night, so now I have to scramble to get everything done, because I really don’t want it hanging over my head by filing for an extension. Once I had all the necessary copies, I discovered there was a nail salon right next door to Staples, and my poor feet needed a pedicure. I do try to take care of them since I’m being very hard on them and walking so much! I still deal with the occasional blister (however, I’m not complaining – I have seen too many dancers’ feet and they’re the ones who should complain, but rarely do!). And from there, just when I was thinking I needed a salad for dinner, I saw a Panera. And that led me to today’s donation! After I had ordered my salad, I noticed a big display about autistic children and some of the resources that are available locally. The autism awareness chapter here is called E.P.I.C. which stands for Eastern Panhandle Indigo Children (indigo refers to the color of bracelets that people can buy to show their support of autistic children) and April is Autism Awareness month. Panera was also donating the proceeds from some of their sales. I talked to 2 of the workers, and they confirmed that this is a West Virginia chapter, and one of them also had their business card with an address and phone number. So I figured that would be a good donation for today – it’s kind of fun when an unexpected donation opportunity just sort of pops up – especially late in the day! I drove just a little farther and stayed in the town of Martinsburg for the night. This little “panhandle” section of West Virginia is kind of a funny piece of land sticking into Maryland – it looks like it should just be part of Maryland, but I’m sure there’s a reason why it’s tacked onto West Virginia – borders are an important thing!
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