Romney, West Virginia 3-24-02
On saturday Tim, Catherine & Anna hauled my cart and treated me out to breakfast, and then sent me on my merry little way. The weather was beautiful out, not nearly as cold as friday was up on Mt Storm. After several miles, I made a pit stop at a greenhouse/nursery. When I walked in, the lady asked me where I came from because she didn't see me drive in. I told her I was walking. We visited for awhile, and before I left she stuffed $10 in my pocket. She also said I absolutely positively needed to stop at the spring, a natural spring with a pipe coming up out of the ground with fresh spring water flowing out of it. The spring is located right on the side of the highway out in the middle of nowhere, and there are usually several vehicles parked on the side of the road with people filling up their gallon jugs. The lady said I'd never taste water as good and clean and fresh as that again in my life, and I think she was right. When I got there, there were 3 other vehicles and those people swore by that water. I filled up an empty water jug and had to agree it was mighty good. We visited for awhile and they said I was still 3 miles out of town. So I continued on. When I got into town, I stopped off at the DQ and had a burger, and then found Hampshire House, a B&B where I'm staying sat & sun. I was desperately running out of clean clothes, so after I got settled in at the B&B, I headed for the laundromat one block away. The lady there asked me if I was new in town and I told her my story. Before I left with my clean laundry, she gave me $10. Romney WV is a very historical town. In fact, they say this town changed hands 57 times during the Civil War! Romney is the oldest town in West Virginia, established in 1762. In 1861 the Civil War came rumbling through the valley and Romney reeled from Union to Confederate control many times over. Romney has many historical buildings, including Mytinger House, Romney's oldest house. The house is about 200 yrs old, and was possibly built for George Wilson, an ascestor of Woodrow Wilson, who was granted the property by Lord Fairfax in 1763. I was able to see the Davis History House, which is now a museum of Civil War artifacts. The original log home, built in 1798, stands on its original lot. The Davis family was "divided" during the Civil War. Liberty Hall, located on Main St, was Stonewall Jacksons headquarters. This is where Jackson wrote a letter of resignation that was rejected. Another place, Taggart Hall Museum & Visitors Center also provided much information, folklore, and history of the area. Jane, the Innkeeper at the B&B, drove me out to see Fort Mill Ridge Civil War Union Army Trenches. Thought to be the best-preserved Civil War battle trenches in existence, the outer trench covers approx half a mile. Located high up on a hill, you could see for miles. Evidence of cannon placements exist on the inner ring, and you can read soldiers jorunals documenting the digging of the outer trenches, called "rifle pits." It was awesome to go up there and imagine what it must've been like during the Civil War. On monday I'll walk to Augusta, where I'll be staying in the Methodist Church, and then on tues I'll walk to Capon Bridge, where I'll be staying at a Girl Scouts Campground. That'll be neat! I plan on spending the Easter weekend in Winchester, VA. Y'all take care and have a great day! KB
New Creek, West Virginia 3-24-02
On friday morning, I woke up to 7" of snow on the ground in Mt. Storm, WV. Being the wimp I am, I was simply going to stay another night and hope the weather got better, but all the locals told me to go ahead and walk, and that I'd be out of the snow after about 5 miles. So I grudgingly headed out, and y'know, they were right. Mt. Storm is located at the top of Allegheny Mtn at 2,850 ft, and by the time I got down to the bottom of the hill (6 miles on a 9% grade -- YIKES!) there was no snow on the ground and it had warmed up considerably. I walked around 18 miles to the Sunnyside Church of the Brethren in New Creek, WV. They were having a dinner there for another family, and welcomed me in. They knew I was coming and were awaiting my arrival, and visiting with them was fun. When I said I was from Kansas, they asked me if I knew where McPherson was. While the question was quite a suprise in itself, what REALLY amazed me was that they pronounced it correctly -- McFURson. When I mentioned my suprise, they said "well of course. We have a college there." Well of course. After the meal, they drove me to Keyser, about 6 miles north, and put me up in a motel for the night. There was a Wal-Mart right next door, so I was happy. In the morning they hauled my cart, took me out to breakfast, and sent me on my merry little way to Romney, WV. It is such a neat experience to meet all these kind generous people on this trip. Y'know, many people have told me all along that the farther east I go on this trip, the less friendlier people will be. How far east were they implying? At what point does this less-kindness begin? I certainly haven't noticed it yet If anything, I am noticing just the opposite.. People are SO KIND and SO NICE, and ready & willing to get involved. What a neat experience. Take care and have a great day! KB
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