Monday, May 13, 2013

"I Hear That Train A Comin"

This past weekend Gypsy and I took Sandi up to Harpers Ferry for her birthday weekend. Sandi just loves the mountains and we enjoy the views, hiking, meeting new people, and on this trip Sandi wanted to do something new...zip lining. Zip Lining is on her bucket list of things to do. I can assure you it isn't on mine.
I don't care about zip lining either!
When we go away for weekends we have a neighbor come in and look after the cats. She is a great cat person and Sandi feels she does a great job. Gypsy on the other hand is another story. In the past we've tried boarding her but she absolutely hates it. She will go on a hunger strike until we get home. So, we had to do a search for a pet friendly place in Harpers Ferry. We found a cute, pet friendly, cottage right in town. I believe the description of this place was a quiet getaway nestled on a hillside adjacent to historic Harpers Ferry. Off the three of us go for a quiet weekend.

Friday was zip lining day. We found a place called "River Riders" www.riverriders.com that host all the outdoor adventure sports. These are very nice people. They actually kept Gypsy inside the office while we were out zipping. Before I go much further I have to let you in on a secret, I'm not an extreme sports kind of guy and I'm not that fond of heights. What the hell am I doing going zip lining? We meet out guide for the day, the other people in our group, go over the safety things, and off we go. The day would consist of 8 zips of various lengths and a couple of crazy bridges to cross. I made it through the first couple of zips and the first bridge then, we got a bit higher up in the trees. It was at that time I decided I had enough fun for one day. My fear of heights kicked in. I was lowered to the ground in humiliation while Sandi continued. She had a few thoughts of bagging it with me but, to her credit, fought through them.

If you look closely in the center of this picture you can see one of the towers peaking out above the trees.
After 4 hours of zipping, we find a place in town to grab a bite to eat. We were sitting outside when the first train went by. When I say go by, I mean they go by at a high rate of speed and they are right next you. Honking the stupid horn the entire time they go through town. They town is built down in the river valley so all the noise just bounces around the mountains. We decided that perhaps the train would stop running at night but soon found out it ran all night long. One just about every hour at the least. What happened to the "quiet cottage" we read about? These were the loudest trains I've ever heard.

We got up the next morning, groggy from the interrupted sleep. Sandi probably had three hours of sleep at the most. We decided we weren't going to let that stop us. Off we go for a nice hike along the C&O Canal. It was a misty morning threatening rain all morning long.
 To get on the trail we had to cross the rail road bridge.

 This meant climbing an expanded steel stair case. These steps totally freaked Gypsy out. I think she has a fear of heights like I do.
 
We came upon an older couple that was walking their four month old Standard Poodle, Theodore. Very cute puppy. Gypsy didn't want anything to do with him though. We had a good three hour hike in mostly wet conditions.
 
 This is Jefferson Rock that is on the trail. Legend has it that Thomas Jefferson sat on the rock, looking down at the area that was Harpers Ferry and said it was one of the most beautiful places in the world. I think what he said was "Hey, what a great spot to build a loud train track."

By the end of the hike we were all wet. Gypsy had the "Howard Stern" look going.
OMG, I ASKED YOU NOT TO POST THIS PIC!!!
During the hike we heard every train that came through. Sandi could identify what kind of train it was without seeing it. Yep, that's a passenger train. This ones' a coal train. That one was a standard cargo train.
The last night in our quiet cottage, nestled along the hillside adjacent to historic Harpers Ferry was just as loud as the first. We packed up and headed back to Maryland. I think we were sleep deprived as we laughed and joked about the weekend the whole time driving home. We saw some beautiful things and met some great people. Sandi checked off a bucket list thing so, all in all it was a good weekend.
 

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