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Last Independence Day

I’ve lived in Washington, D.C. nearly 11 years now. Which means, I’ve had a decade of July 4ths here. However, most of my attempts to see the fireworks have been marred by rain showers, whether it was an day drizzle or a monsoon just hours before the spectacle.

Last year, I decided to do something different with my long weekend. Get out town, go somewhere I’d never been and see new things. I convinced my parents to drive down from NY and meet me at Harpers Ferry, WV. I’d never been there before, but I knew it had history, guided tours (thank you park rangers…), hiking opportunities and more. Aside from a soggy morning (what is it with July rain in the Mid-Atlantic?) it was a pretty great time. There were people in costume holding an old-fashioned Independence Day celebration, stores to poke around in, a neat old church you could climb up to and tour, as well as Jefferson Rock.

We stayed in nearby Shepherdstown, where we had a fantastic dinner at The Rathskeller of The Bavarian Inn — right next to a suit of armor. Dad stayed in while mom and I drove over to Antietam Battlefield to watch the fireworks. They were beautiful, and this was my first time photographing with all the proper equipment (tripod, shutter release). Although imperfect, I got the best fireworks images I’ve ever captured.

The next morning we wandered Shepherdstown, visited the farmers market and craft market as well as some galleries, a cycling shop and my dad bought me a lovely piece of art (that I still haven’t figured out where to hang up.)

Before returning to D.C., I hiked the Maryland Heights Trail (the shorter version) in some serious heat with full photo gear. but I was rewarded with a great view of the town.