Sunbeams Over Harper’s Ferry

7-3-2017

I decided to make a West Virginia run: drive down, see an old friend who is visiting DC from Texas, run the Shenandoah, and then drive home in a whirlwind 3 days. Upon arriving, I spent an hour or so hanging out at the outfitter I started white water rafting with 26 years ago; River and Trail. I perused some old photo albums, caught up with some old friends, and was amazed by the stunning changes and expansion the company has seen in the last two decades . Although it is only the beginning of July, it is high summer here; hot, very humid, lazy hazy air, and full summer dark green leaves (I had forgotten the poison ivy grows like trees down here). That night while laying in my hammock at the put in, with the lazy warm green water of the Shenandoah slips slowly and silently past, the cicadas are thrumming all around me, a raucous chorus of delight, and the tiny screech owls call to one another across the river. Just before falling asleep I recall a vivid image from earlier in the day. I was crossing the almost mile long bridge over the Potomac and the sun was setting behind Harper’s Ferry a mile upstream, silver, and blue grey clouds were bisected by brilliant golden sunbeams radiating outward in a star burst emanating from the prominent white church steeple nestled on the dark hill. I feel like I have come home.

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