The promise I made to two of my grandsons has finally been fulfilled. It only took me a year to do what I promised to do: visit their respective colleges and take them out for lunch. I connected with Austin back in October and yesterday I met up with grandson Nick at his campus in Shepherdstown, WV. Naturally, I think these guys are special; they’re my grandsons! They are, along with my four other grandchildren, “the apple of my eye” (Psalm 17:8).
It was a three hour drive to Nick’s campus, traveling west to Frederick, Maryland and then south toward Harpers Ferry, WV. It was a beautiful fall day and some colorful foliage till clung to the trees along the highways. Of course, the Shenandoah Valley in western Virginia and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia (separating the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains) is beautiful at any time of year.
Harpers Ferry is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers where Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia meet. It has a long history, starting way back in 1733. Thomas Jefferson and his daughter Patsy passed through Harpers Ferry on their way to Philadelphia in 1783. Jefferson called the site “perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature.” And it still is a stupendous scene. The abolitionist John Brown led his famous raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859.
Nearby Harpers Ferry is the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O Canal) which was once called the “Grand Old Ditch.” It operated from 1831 until 1924 along the Potomac from Washington DC, to Cumberland, Maryland, hauling coal from the Allegheny Mountains. It is now maintained as the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Antietam battlefield is nearby, as well as the Appalachian Trail which passes directly through the town of Harpers Ferry.
This land is yours! This land is mine! What a beautiful land it is, though scarred, marred, and dangerously polluted by our misuse of it. It is still “perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature.”
|Austin and Nick--Only Yesterday|