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Wandering Biker

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Sep '09

Frederick, MD to Davis, NC via Harpers Ferry NHP, WV and Cedar Creek Battlefield, VA and Shenandoah National Park, VA and Cedar Creek Battlefield, VA and Belle Grove Plantation House, VA and Chancellorsville Battlefield, VA and Petersburg National Battlefield, VA – 527 miles

I have a long way to go today and I want to get as many National Park Tour stamps as I can on the way, so I’m feeling a little time pressure.

My first stop today is Harpers Ferry National Historic Park in West Virginia. It only about twenty minutes from Frederick, MD so I get there a little after opening. Harpers Ferry is a “quaint, historic community, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers”.

My next stop is Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in Virginia. It is an incredibly slow ride down US 11 to the Cedar Creek Battlefield. I used to live near here and I had forgotten how slowly the residents of the Shenandoah Valley drive. Maddening. When I get to the Cedar Creek Battlefield visitor center I find a sign in the window saying they will be back at 10:00. Uggh. It is only 9:30 so I decide to continue on and maybe come back later as my next stop is close by.

I continue on to the Shenandoah National Park entrance station in Front Royal, VA. It is another incredibly slow drive from the interstate through Front Royal to the entrance station. The visitor center is five miles up the Skyline Drive at the Dickey Ridge visitor center.

On the way out of the park I decide to go back to the Cedar Creek battlefield. I take another route back to the battlefield and pass the entrance to Belle Grove on the way. The battlefield is open when I get there and I get my stamp. The stamp reads “Cedar Creek and Belle Grove” and I ask if there is a stamp at Belle Grove as well. Since it is considered one National Historic Park I don’t think getting a stamp at both locations will count, but I get it anyway. The rules are kind of vague.

From here I got back on the interstate, past Front Royal and continued on to the visitor center at the Battle of Chancellorsville, which is part of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields National Military Park. There were four major battles of the Civil War fought here resulting in 15,000 men killed and 85,000 men wounded.

I continue heading south past Richmond to get a stamp at the Petersburg National Battlefield near Petersburg, VA. This was the site of the longest siege in American warfare, lasting 292 days, leading to the fall of Richmond and the confederate surrender.

I’m through collecting stamps for the day and continue south and then east to my parent’s home on the North Carolina coast in Davis, NC.

National Park Tour progress so far – 20 sites, 13 states.

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