States Left to Visit:
- North Dakota
Since the last time I have updated this, I have traveled to Oklahoma and West Virginia.
The trip to Oklahoma was a long one. I drove straight from Littleton to the border of Oklahoma. This was a very boring drive. There is not much other than tumbleweeds, bad smells, and trucks on the route. My original goal was to travel to the state line and return. My secondary goal was to visit the town of Boise City, OK. This town is notably the only town in the continental united states that was bombed in World War II. After four hours on the road to get to the border, I didn’t have the energy to add the extra hour to see the bombing memorial. Of all the states I have been to, the trip to Oklahoma has been the shortest.
I got to spend some time in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. This easternmost town of West Virginia has a lot of history to take in; from Thomas Jefferson to the Civil War to the interesting proprietor of the Towne’s Inn.
The hike up to Jefferson’s rock is short, but seemed longer since I had decided to skip the shuttle bus to get to town, I didn’t take water, and it was July. So I walked from the visitor’s center just outside of town directly to Jefferson’s rock. This was worth the trip.
“The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature. You stand on a very high point of land. On your right comes up the Shenandoah, having ranged along the foot of the mountain a hundred miles to seek a vent. On your left approaches the Patowmac in quest of a passage also. In the moment of their junction they rush together against the mountain, rend it asunder and pass off to the sea. The first glance of this scene hurries our senses into the opinion that this earth has been created in time, that the mountains were formed first, that the rivers began to flow afterwards, that in this place particularly they have been so dammed up by the Blue Ridge of mountains as to have formed an ocean which filled the whole valley; that, continuing to rise, they have at last broken over at this spot and have torn the mountain down from its summit to its base. The piles of rock on each hand, but particularly on the Shenandoah, the evident marks of their disruptions and avulsions from their beds by the most powerful agents in nature, corroborate the impression.
“But the distant finishing which nature has given the picture is of a very different character. It is a true contrast to the former. It is as placid and delightful as that is wild and tremendous. For the mountains being cloven asunder, she presents to your eye, through the cleft, a small catch of smooth blue horizon, at an infinite distance in that plain country, inviting you, as it were, from the riot and tumult roaring around to pass through the breach and participate in the calm below. Here the eye ultimately composes itself; and that way, too, the road happens actually to lead. You cross the Patowmac above the junction, pass along its side through the base of the mountain for three miles, the terrible precipice hanging in fragments over you, and within about 20 miles reach Frederictown and the fine country around that. This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic.”
–Thomas Jefferson in Notes on the State of Virginia
At roughly the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail, the town combines views and history.
Like most historic places I visited on this trip over the summer, I could have spent a lot more time here.