A Wild and Wonderful Land

On Saturday morning we went to West Virginia. Because why not? While eating breakfast, we realized that Violet was the only one of us who hadn’t been to the ‘wild and wonderful’ land known as West Virginia (e.g. Our Quest for 50 States). And that seemed as good of a reason as any to make our way to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

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I find the idea of waking up and just going somewhere for no other reason than to experience someplace or something new exhilarating and utterly addicting. Thankfully, I married to someone who feels the same way. And our children are following suit – always up for an adventure (with the occasional 4-year-old-and-14-month-old-tantrum/breakdown thrown into the mix). As we drove away from the sprawling suburbia of northern Virginia and toward the rolling hills of the Shenandoah Valley, we soaked in the views and commented how we could happily live among those trees. One reoccurring theme we’ve encountered throughout our domestic travels and opportunity to live in a variety of places is how we find ourselves saying “I’d be perfectly content if we lived here.” I find this to be a very good thing. The ability to adapt and seek out the best of any situation are attributes I hope will take us far in life. If anything, they help keep us sane.

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Before making our way to the actual park, we found an orchard and picked some apples. The temperature couldn’t have felt less-fall like but we made the best of our time in the scorching sun and tornados of bugs. One peck of apples later and we were bound for the site of John Brown’s Raid.

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We unknowingly chose to visit Harpers Ferry during a National Park Free Admission Day so it was quite busy. We learned the hard way that packing a picnic lunch is the ideal method of food consumption – the restaurants in Harper’s Ferry were underwhelming and oddly seemed quite unprepared for tourists. Nonetheless, we didn’t let the mediocre food spoil our views while walking around the confluence (totally had to look up that word – hello 5th grade geography!) of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers.

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On our drive west, I piped John Denver’s Take Me Home, County Roads through the car one too many times and Clay finally used his driver’s veto. But the singer/songwriter’s call for the country roads to take him home to the place he belongs reminded me of my own desire to figure out exactly what I’m meant to do during my time in this world – determining where I belong, so to speak. I’m happy in my current role of wife, mother, friend, and volunteer. But I know I can do more. It’s just going to take some time to discover exactly what more entails.

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11 thoughts on “A Wild and Wonderful Land

  1. Rachel G September 29, 2014 / 7:01 pm

    I’ve never even been to West Virginia! Looks and sounds like a fun day spent wandering the National Park, too bad about the food, though…

    • Karen September 30, 2014 / 7:33 am

      If you get a chance – go! You won’t be disappointed. 🙂 I really like Charleston, WV (the capital). It is a really unique and fun city. Not too big either – really, the perfect size. I know I say it about most places but I could totally live there!

  2. Nicole September 29, 2014 / 8:14 pm

    What an awesome little adventure! Our country is so beautiful 🙂

    • Karen September 30, 2014 / 7:31 am

      Yes, it certainly is. 🙂

  3. Heather K September 29, 2014 / 11:55 pm

    How stunning! My family has land in West Virginia a little outside of Ripley and I keep wanting to take my husband to a family reunion out there. There is something vast and breathtaking being outside of a major suburb/city. I love getting a chance to escape there! I hope you had a wonderful trip!

    • Karen September 30, 2014 / 7:31 am

      How cool to have family with land in West Virginia. It really is gorgeous!

  4. Amanda @ SOTC September 30, 2014 / 2:21 am

    Beautiful! That is so true how your desire to travel is linked to your ability to adapt. I find myself saying the same thing often… it is gorgeous here, I could totally live here.

    • Karen September 30, 2014 / 7:31 am

      I personally believe that the ability to adapt is one of the secrets to success. It’s amazing how many people dig their own grave (so to speak) by being unwilling to move outside of their comfortable little box.

  5. Nichole C September 30, 2014 / 7:31 pm

    We went to Shenandoah Valley when I was a kid, but it was a long time ago, and I’d love to go back! I love your thirst for travel.

  6. Jenny @ Creatively Blooming October 1, 2014 / 3:46 pm

    We were on the Appalachian Trail on the same day! Your pictures are gorgeous. We need to make a trip to West Virginia.

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