I’ve been meaning to blog about our artillery event not happening, but two things have kept me busy:
- I’m frantically working on the Steampunk/paranormal I’m co-writing with Rebecca Hamilton (I’m typing until my fingers wear down to the bone–the BONE, guys) and
- One Direction is taunting me with some kind of musical foreplay by releasing their new album, Made in the AM random song, by random song up until the full release on 11/13. Today was Love You Goodbye and LORD (fun fact: “love” is being used as a verb. An action verb. Ahem.).
Anyway, other than being some kind of reclusive, writing hobo (The light!!!! It burns us!!!), I did actually leave the house for Halloween at the Heights artillery weekend! Which didn’t happen. But, that’s completely okay because we are in Harpers Ferry and when you’re a history nerd, it doesn’t matter that your event is cancelled. There’s always something to do. Or see. Or wriggle in.
And thus, The Hubs and I went on an adventure!
I am not actually known for being adventurous. I’m more…uh, well, more known for writing about other people having adventures. But this time, it was actually me and The Hubs, out in the wild: walking on a trail that may or may not have been the Appalachian Trail, walking a historic hiking trail without photo IDs and having a park ranger stop and watch us from across the field, wandering in places that didn’t say No Trespassing, but with that faint uncertainty that maybe it was just implied. Boy, I tell you what. I’ve hit some kind of weird, pseudo-rebellious stage. Forget my tepid 20s, I’m all about my dirty 30s!
The first place we “explored” was a lot less of exploring and a lot less of me sticking my iPhone and my arms through a chain link fence to get better pictures. The Hilltop House Hotel was built in 1888 and, according to a super brief Google search, closed indefinitely back in 2008. There was a partial collapse in 2012. Way back in 2003, The Hubs and I had wanted to get married here. Now, it’s literally rotting where it stands. The windows are broken, the front side is crumbling. It’s pretty sad. It’s surrounded by a chain link fence and looks like it’s read to just fall apart, so I didn’t even entertain the thought of sneaking inside. I think the closest I got to it was saying, “Wow, it would be so cool to go inside and see what’s left!” It’s so, so pretty. This little stone bench is pretty well overgrown by bushes (I don’t know what kind of bush it is, but to me it smells like filed fingernails. I’m sure it’s a lovely greenery but ew). There was also a newer section of the hotel on the other side of the road. It too is abandoned but was not circled by a fence. Meaning, if you wanted to get inside…you totally could.
Look, I’ve been watching a lot of Criminal Minds over the last several weeks. I love me some Spencer Reid. But if I’ve learned one thing from Criminal Minds, it’s not to go wandering into abandoned buildings with pentagrams written in the dirt on the doors and the doors kicked in. No. Because, you know, I can’t see the bathroom from that kicked open room door. As far as I’m concerned, the UnSub is waiting in there. Nope. Someone else can go in.
And what do you know, three other someones did. I was taking a picture of the second floor doors when a dude just strolled out of one of the rooms. Yeah. I just about peed myself. Out loud, I said, “OMG, a guy.” The stairwells were locked (well, they probably were at one point but the locks were busted) so anyone could just wander around and become the next victim in the BAU’s lineup. Or arrested for trespassing.
Upon review of the above, I’ve determined that this is a lot less of Heather Curley: intrepid explorer and a lot more Heather Curley: cautious observer.
Across from the hotel ruins were several abandoned houses. I can only assume that the real estate had been purchased with the hotel, as they were a hot mess. I was SO freaking excited! It was this exciting, oh my gosh I’m an explorer! with a healthy dose of I’m so afraid of getting arrested (whispered much, much quieter). It was like being in Return to Oz, when Dorothy first…uh…returns to Oz and finds her old house decaying in the woods. That was the movie moment I was having.
And the gaping cellar door, opened to the inky darkness of the basement? That was one, big gigantic nope. I didn’t even want to get close to it, just incase. Just in case of anything.
I was quickly running out of room on my phone for more pictures (you know, Older Child asked me last week were our digital camera went and I can honestly say I have no idea. I haven’t even seen a digital camera in like, five years). We decided to expand our adventure and went on a nature hike over area known as School House Ridge. Here, in September of 1862, is where Stonewall Jackson marched against the Union lines–also known as the reason we have our artillery demonstration. Fun fact if you plan on hiking the like, two miles on the trail? Don’t wear Chuck Taylors. I was going for fashion and my feet were very, very upset.
This was also something like, The Abandoned Houses in the Harpers Ferry Area Tour, since we came across piles and piles of ruins. I don’t even know what this building was or who it belonged to. The Hubs and I had a really fun time looking over what was left, trying to figure out where doors, windows, and fireplaces had been. We think (NPS friends, feel free to jump in at any time) that the house burned, based on scorch marks on the floorboard pieces we could see in the walls. I’m not sure, though. I even Googled it. Google didn’t know either. Bummer, Google.
I made a lot of Criminal Minds references and One Direction references (Hubs: it only faces in one direction. Me: (elbows him in the ribs) One Direction??! Ba-hahahahaha) and had a ton of Novel-y ideas. Oh, and speaking of which, if you follow me on Pinterest (and if you haven’t, you should), I have an entire board dedicated to Novel-y Stuff. It’s called “Novel-y Stuff.” I also have boards for my Civil War novels and for With Me Now. If nothing else, it entertains me. Love ya, Pinterest.
Yeah, we didn’t get to play with artillery. I used up all the memory left on my phone taking pictures of ruins. But it was awesome! And now I’ve got countless ideas for plots and novel-y goodness.
You’ve been warned. 😉