Our trip of 75 miles from Luray, VA to Falling Waters, WV was a pleasant drive through the countryside for about half of it, the other half was I-81 which was quicker but more stressful because of the traffic. We are staying at Falling Waters Campsites in a 50 amp full hookup site with a clear view to the satellite, slow Verizon and free Tengo WiFi which doesn't work far more often than it does. Hopefully the WiFi will work enough to get the pictures uploaded or it will be Sunday or Monday before I get them up. The campground is made up of at least two sections: one down in the woods which is very shaded and appears to have really nice, shaded spots; and the one up on a hill where we are that only has six sites that are full hookup pull-throughs in the open (like a parking lot) and more suited to those of us that want to be able to reach the satellite though we have to sacrifice what we would normally like when getting back to nature.
Shortly after arriving and getting set up we left for the Four Locks area of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park
located in Maryland, a short drive from Falling Waters. The Canal was George Washington's dream when he saw the Potomac River and considered it the gateway to move the coal, lumber and agricultural products from the west to market but it wasn't suitable for boat traffic due to the rocky nature of the river and elevation changes over its length. The canal was completed in the early 1800s and was comprised of beautiful stone cut aqueducts, 74 functioning locks, and a tunnel attributed by many as a "wonder of the world" in order for the canal to function. The railroad soon overtook it as a source of moving freight and the canal closed in 1924. The Four Locks area is where they made a shortcut across a big bend in the river and employed four locks over about a half-mile.
After visiting Four Locks we headed a little south to the Antietam Battlefield
where the bloodiest one day battle of the Civil War was fought in 1863. It reminded us a lot of Gettysburg with all of the monuments to the different armies, brigades and Calvary's only on a much smaller battlefield. It was essentially fought to a draw but you wonder what would have happened if McClellan had pursued Lee into Virginia as Lincoln had wanted him to. Perhaps the war would have been shortened by a couple of years?
Thursday we went to Harpers Ferry
located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers at the borders of West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. The C&O Canal is still evident here as well since it paralleled the Potomac. In its early years it was highly industrial due to the water power available from the two rivers. A large gun factory and arsenal was located here and became one of the reasons for the many battles that were waged here throughout the Civil war and even as a prelude to the war when John Brown
came to prominence. The Park Service has refurbished the old town and there are a number of museums and films portraying life as it was in the mid-nineteenth century.
Friday we got to get together with a couple of our FMCA Chapter Florida Ramblers fellow members, Sandy and Clarence, as they were also passing through and staying here at Falling Waters Campsite. It was great to see them again and talk about where we have been and where we are going. We also got to watch some great ball games and even got to see the last part of the Gator no-hitter in the NCAA baseball regionals.
Saturday was another ball game day as we just relaxed, watched a few games and got ready for Sunday's trip to Fort Meade, MD where we will stay for a week.