Friday, September 13, 2013

Visit #3: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (7/25)

We started out the last day of our trip with an uneventful drive from Prince William Forest Park to our first stop of the day:  Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

We met up with ProRanger Jennifer Pflugfelder and Ranger Mark Howard in the parking lot of the Visitor's Center where they were setting up a driving course.  We learned that Jen, along with some of the other ProRangers, were on a list for deployment to a wildfire!  They would know in the next few days whether or not they would be going.  [SPOILER:  Jen Pflugfelder did spent several weeks in Northern California at the Klamath National Forest.]

ProRanger Jennifer Pflugfelder shows off her "red card"

Ranger Mark Howard and ProRanger Jennifer Pflugfelder

Vicki McGarvey and Jennifer Pflugfelder
Vicki McGarvey and Mark Howard

After the requisite photos, we watched the driving course being measured out and the cones put into place.  We even helped a little!

Helping with the setup.

"Put it right there"

Setting up the course.

Standing in West Virginia with Maryland and Virginia in the background.
Answering a question.
From there, we took a driving tour of the park and the town and learned about some of issues and challenges of the park.  We then parked and walked around the town of Harpers Ferry.  When we began to take photos at the point where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers converge, I discovered that my camera had been set to take black and white photos all morning.

Walking around town with a ProRanger in uniform was difficult!  It seemed like every few steps, Jen was stopped by a visitor to answer a question or to provide directions.  She answered each request completely and with a smile on her face!

Giving directions.
And, more directions.

We visited the information center where I learned that Jen lives upstairs.  The downstairs is a museum and information center, but behind the chain and up the stairs were Jen's summer living quarters.  The summer living arrangements for each of the ProRangers was as unique as each park!

The information center, aka Jen's house!
Did you ever wonder what was behind the chained off areas of a museum?

In the museum...(Jen's foyer!)
Outside John Brown's fort.
Working on the junior ranger activities.

Swearing in for junior ranger badge #3.

Proud wearer for three junior ranger badges.
After completing the activities in the junior ranger book, ProRanger Jen gave Finn his third oath of the trip and he proudly accepted his badge!  Then we walked a short portion of the Appalachian Trail and admired the scenery before heading back to the Visitor's Center.  When we arrived at the parking lot, we were in for a surprise:  Ranger Howard asked Jen to complete the driving course!  Jen did great with an audience and it might have been the highlight of the morning for Finn!


Thanks to ProRanger Jennifer Pflugfelder and Ranger Mark Howard and the other rangers and staff at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park for a great morning and for their strong record of involvement and support of the ProRanger program.  Our time there was way too short!  But, we were on a schedule.  So, we climbed back in the van for the very short trip to our final stop:  Antietam National Battlefield!

Up next:  ANTI.

Vicki McGarvey

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