When I left off last time, I was in Columbus and in a bit of a funk. But I rebounded Thursday morning and resolved to enjoy the day as much as possible. I spent some time in the Short High neighborhood of Columbus which has some cool street art. There’s also a nice park where I took Juno for several walks and was just mesmerized by the amazing colors of the leaves on the ground
I then popped downtown to check out the capital building. This was the first non-dome I’ve seen. It’s a cube topped by a cylinder. But the best part was the random road sign I saw set up across the street from the capital – not sure if was a commentary on the election or someone was just having a laugh. Regardless, it was worth a picture
From Columbus, I made my way across state lines and into West Virginia. I will be honest that I really had no clue about what to do in WV but figured best to start in Charleston. So I managed to see two state capitals in one day!
While I was in Charleston, I went to Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream and had a delicious egg nog milkshake. I ended up having a long chat with Ellen and she suggested that I check out Fayetteville. Sounds like a plan! So after spending the night at the Kanahwa State Forest, off I went to Fayetteville. The town is charming but what it’s best known for is that it’s right next to the New River Bridge, which is the world’s largest single-arch steel span bridge. There’s a great platform at the top of the bridge and also mid-way down – the view was stunning. Even Juno enjoyed the view!
The town of Fayetteville was a bit quiet as I was there on Veteran’s Day; however, I ended up meeting two really nice gals at Twisted Gypsies – they suggested I check out Shepherdstown. Okay then! So off I went…
One thing that’s important to know about WV is that the state is super hilly. My dad told me that when he was in school, he learned that if you flattened the state of WV out, that it would actually be bigger than the state of Texas. Yeah, that hilly. So when I arrived in Morgantown (home of WVU), it was a real challenge to find a street to park on that was flat. I almost ended up at the Walmart parking lot but fortunately I found a flat spot in front a school. So flat that I didn’t even need my leveling blocks. Score!
Shepherdstown was a great recommendation and I spent all afternoon enjoying the town. The town is super dog friendly too – there are restaurants where dogs are allowed inside!! Juno and I had a lovely lunch at Domestic… I also purchased a painting from Badgerhound Gallery – Michael Davis is the artist and his still life paintings are glorious. Side note: Shepherdstown is only a couple of miles from Antietam, the site of a huge Civil War battle. Apparently, the re-enactors from the Virginia Army were meeting that day at the Clarion to discuss plans for next season. It is a big goal of mine to see a civil war re-enactment at some point next year.
I mentioned to Michael that I was going to stay in Charles Town that night and he told me to check out the court, since that is where John Brown was tried (and found guilty). He also suggested doing the Maryland Heights hike when I went to Harpers Ferry. Check and check! I should mention at this point that Harpers Ferry was recommended to me by a woman I met when I was in Cleveland. In short, with the exception of Charleston, every place I visited in West Virginia was based on the recommendations of the people I met along the way. And they were all awesome reccos!
Yesterday was a busy day. I started with a drive to the court house and then it was off to Harpers Ferry and a morning hike. The Maryland Heights hike was awesome – just over 4 miles R/T to the scenic overlook and it was such a glorious day. The picture below depicts 3 states – I’m standing in Maryland, the town of Harpers Ferry , WV is in front of me and across the river to the left is Virginia. So cool!! So yes, I’ve been in Maryland even though I don’t have the “Welcome to Maryland” sign (yet). The shot of the train on the tracks was an added bonus as it was crossing just as I finished my hike. Love this pic…
I departed West Virginia for Virginia early yesterday afternoon and actually had to backtrack to get the Virginia sign since I couldn’t capture it initially. I actually pulled over to get fuel just up the road and while I was filling up, I ran back up the highway to take the picture. I am committed! Or maybe I should be committed for running down a busy highway… hmmm.
I am now in Arlington and staying with my friend Tom. As it turns out, my mom is staying in Washington DC this week so the three of us had a lovely dinner last night in old town Alexandria. That was followed up with Tom making a delicious breakfast this morning. I’ll be spending the next few days in VA, DC and MD (need to get a picture!!) With that said, it’s time to get on with my day!
State count: 24 (West Virginia), 25 (Maryland), 26 (Virginia)