The agressive abolitionist, John Brown, is known for his failed raid on Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. A number of his men were killed in the raid, but not him. He was hanged later the same fall. Now the town has been killed too. I'd never been there before but my wife had. She remembers a bustling, almost insanely busy place full of pedestrians and parked vehicles. It has been turned into a National Historic Park with the restored historic buildings and exhibits in one part of town and kitschy tourist shops in the other; Harper's Ferry is a museum. And not a very good one either. It feels like a ghost town, which in effect, it is. National Parks Service volunteers in period-perfect garb walk around and lead tours, creating a sense of past but not of life. The exhibits are high-tech (at least for the Parks Service) and are cool for about thirty seconds. Even the ice cream is mediocre. The town boasts two used book stores, neither of which can hold a candle to the two we checked out in Front Royal. So after we discovered all this, we hopped back on the shuttle bus for the two and a half mile ride back to our car.
We decided to hit the North End of the Chesapeake Bay. Approaching Baltimore, I noted the time was not yet three in the afternoon. I believed we would be ahead of the traffic. I was wrong. Oy! We're talking nasty congestion combined with non-stop orange barrel alerts. Infuriating. A couple of navigational errors did not help my state of mind. By the time we got to North East, MD (that's the name of a town, and a quaint one at that), I was not in a very gracious mood. A B&B presented itself right on North East's main street, so we checked in there. Our hostess, Caye, helped take the edge off my mood with gracious hospitality and a nice cold glass of iced tea. Thanks Caye! Her B&B is called The Inn At North East Creek. Check it out if you're in town.
Turkey Point, the southernmost tip of Elk Neck State Park, would have provided a tremendous view of the upper Chesapeake if the air on Friday morning hadn't been made of soup. I was tempted to wring out my clothes when I got back to the car from our 1.6 mile hike there and back. I resisted temptation but was still a little moist upon arriving back in Pottstown to hear about my daughter's misfortune at wilderness camp.
Jannotti tag: travel
P.S. Because I was posting in a hurry this week I failed to provide links to a couple of places that are worth providing links for. So here they are...
My new favorite B&B, and I've stayed at a few, is Woodward House on Manor Grade. Tell Bob and Joan Kaye that Jim and Joy sent you. Their website is even kinda cool, featuring a panoramic view from the porch.
The best restaurant on our trip, but by a thin margin (see below) was Apt 2G (which sits atop J's Gourmet) in Front Royal.
And finally in North East, MD-- check out Woody's Crab House. Wow!