Here is the next stretch of rail. DC, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Chicago.

Got on the train in the afternoon on Sunday so we only had about 4 hours of daylight left. However, this was by far the most beautiful stretch of land I’ve seen so far. The rail follows the Potomac out of the city, winding through red rock cliff faces covered in ivy and hanging roots. The river lazily flows below the countless bridges we cross.

There is a small town below one of these passes. Harpers Ferry. More of an impressionists shangri-la than an actual place. It is perfect. Large willow trees cast their shade on soft green grasses that lead up to the doorsteps of colonial homes. A red steepled church brings them all together on a soft sloped hilltop near the far north side of town. Everyone below is playing in the river, skipping rocks from the shore or canoeing down the gentle rapids. The train is high on a bridge above, so all I am offered is a brief and far away glimpse into a paradise I never knew. I can’t post a picture because it would fail horribly at depicting this place.

We pass through a tunnel and it fades into a clouded memory. The sun sets on the acres of adolescent corn and tobacco fields outside.

Here are some maps to give you context. I’m sure your imagination can fill in the blanks better than my mediocre photography skills ever could.

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One thought on “

  1. I have heard that the Shenandoah Valley is one of the most beautiful places on Earth! There is some interesting Civil War history on Harpers Ferry. Pretty strange to think that soldiers from the South and from the North both rode on those same rails that you are on now.

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