With all of my health problems last year, we weren’t able to get away much at all. At the last minute, we decided to throw our camping gear in the car and head out for some adventures! We had a wonderful mix of camping, nature, education and fun. We unplugged for the week… and headed off!!
Our first destination was West Virginia. You may have heard of John Brown, who raided the armory at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia just prior to the Civil War? Hubby remembered visiting Harpers Ferry as a child and thought it would be interesting to the kids. Of course, being homeschoolers we read a couple of books about John Brown before we headed out.
Hubby was really impressed by the changes to Harpers Ferry. When he was a child, cars crowded the downtown streets and there was very little parking to be found. Now they have a parking lot and visitors center outside of town. You board a bus that lets you off just at the edge of town. You walk a short distance and there you are (but without the traffic jam of years ago)!! The day we visited, it was National Park Day so our visit to the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park was free!
We started out with a film and then continued on to the various exhibits and museums.
Each store had a different display. We meandered from building to building check everything from the old-time grocer, post office, dry good floor, industry museum, wetlands display, African American History exhibit, Civil War Museum and of course the John Brown Museum. Here are a hodge-podge of our photos:
Harpers Ferry was an amazing place to learn about African American history. They had displays and exhibits on everything from slavery to the Civil War and beyond. The kids were really blown away by some of the things they read… be sure to read the “Sale of Negroes” below. The kids were stunned.
Our family absolutely loved the John Brown Wax Museum. We had to pay extra for it as it is not part of the Harpers Ferry National Park, but it was worth every penny! The displays reinforced everything we had learned the week before (and then ED came rushing over to check out all the pictures as I was putting together the collage for the blog. She narrated his entire story looking at the pictures. I’d say they really learned a lot — and will remember a lot — about John Brown!
Also near Harpers Ferry, we took the kids on an amazing adventure ropes course at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center. With my balance/ear issues, I didn’t go up but all three kids and Hubby had an amazing time way up in the tree tops!
After that we headed west further into West Virginia to a a state park called Blackwater Falls. I had read it was really pretty… and it sure was! The kids had an absolute blast with some other homeschoolers we met at the campground. We loved the hike to the falls and some of the activities they had at their nature center.
That was the first part of our trip, but there are some even more amazing tales to tell! That’ll have to wait until tomorrow though because the kids are pulling me away from the computer!
Have a wonderful day! ~Liesl