All good things must come to an end and, unfortunately, Sharon and Win had to return to Florida this morning. I would have loved to have spent more time with them, but family commitments were pulling them back home. Nothing, however, was pulling any of us enough to pass up one more trip to the Clarion’s fabulous breakfast buffet! Sharon is a master bargain hunter and worked some sort of amazing deal for our stay here. I wanted to extend my stay for a couple more days but since I was unable to get a satisfactory rate, I decided to move to Charles Town.

After packing up and vacating the hotel room, Win drove me to the Enterprise Rental Car location in Charles Town where I secured a car and we said our goodbyes. Thank you Win and Sharon for meeting me on the trail and treating me to such a wonderful “zero”! I thoroughly enjoyed my time with you and only wish we could have had more time together. It was so sweet of you to not only drive all that distance to meet me on the trail, but to also make that climb from Harpers Ferry to literally “meet me on the trail!” I love you both bunches!

Charles Town is only 10 minutes from Harpers Ferry and is named after George Washington’s less famous brother Charles. It is also the town where John Brown was tried, convicted, and hanged. Once I had checked out my freedom wheels, I headed to the barbershop for a way past due haircut. I told the barber to shear the top with a #2, but that he would die a horrible death if he touched my beard. Although he laughed, he got the message.

I have gained a recent obsession with the history of the Civil War and decided to take two days off from the trail to visit the National Battlefields in the area. So with my fresh coiffure, I took off for the 20 minute drive to the Antietam National Battlefield after stopping by the ATC Headquarters to pick up my resupply box.

The Battle of Antietam (or the Battle of Sharpsburg for all y’all Confederates) is most infamously notable because of the record 24,000 war casualties suffered there by both sides in less than 24 hours. The importance of that battle in the overall Civil War theater, however, is far greater than the statistics suggest. In the interest of becoming more current with my trail journal, I am deferring my complete report on my battlefield visit until a later date. So, please check back. Suffice it to say, standing on that hallowed ground and seeing the actual lay of the land contributed more to my understanding of what took place here than all the books I have read. It was quite a moving experience.

After returning from Antietam, I checked into a Motel 6 and discovered the nicest Motel 6 room EVER! A Walmart Supercenter is only a block away, so I stopped in to stock up on a couple of days worth a provisions. Now I’m resting up before continuing my tour of battlefields tomorrow.

Appalachian Trail

Home for the Night