Saturday, August 04, 2007

NC Tour - Day 11, Thurs 2 Aug, 2007: Salamanca, NY

Up early in Bolivar in West Virginia, formerly Mud Fort, named for Simon Bolivar "the South American George Washington." The town is suffering from ghost town syndrome although has a pleasant main street. We head for nearby Harper's Ferry to beat the crowds. The town is in a National Park and we take the shuttle bus down to the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. This is a flying visit but there is time to view the railroad station which still has trains to Washington D.C. The station is locked but with lights blazing inside, one of many examples of gross wastage of energy witnessed in the U.S.
"The history of Harpers Ferry has few parallels in the American drama. It is more than one event, one date, or one individual. It is multi-layered – involving a diverse number of people and events that influenced the course of our nation's history. Harpers Ferry witnessed the first successful application of interchangeable manufacture, the arrival of the first successful American railroad, John Brown's attack on slavery, the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War, and the education of former slaves in one of the earliest integrated schools in the United States." Source: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia.
We continue on cross-country to Gettysburg, PA, a national shrine which was heaving with visitors. We cannot take too much of this so we get the hammer down heading west on the Lincoln Highway. We take lunch at Bob Evans at Breezewood, PA, and stay on Hwy 30 to avoid the toll. We turn north on I99, taking Highways 22 and 219 to reach Salamanca, NY by 20:30. The guy at the desk in the Holiday Inn Express is anxious for us to visit the nearby Seneca Casino, shuttle bus or courtesy car no problem. Fat chance after driving 360 miles through West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York.

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