A couple months ago, I had some preventive repairs done to the antique. But I didn't have time right then to do my usual "shakedown cruise". In fact, it took another month to even get around to starting it. So I decided it was time to head for Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown in West Virginia, which would give it multiple hours of operation. That would help me be sure it is ready for longer trips, or bring out any problems needing attention. (And the latter is what happened. More on that in another post...)
You may also remember that at a pedicure several months ago, one bruised toe nail was turning black...and the tech thought it might have been so bruised it would fall off. Also, that nail on the left big toe had been cracked ages ago, requiring it to be glued together and covered in acrylic, to keep it from splitting further. Because of the discolored nail and the relative difficulty in removing acrylic, she switched me from "acrylic on all toe nails" to just as an underlayment on the cracked big toe, and then used tan nail polish on them all.
The morning we left on our trip, the glued-together crack on my big toe nail split, and the resulting sharp edge ruined a pair of stockings. No time to visit the salon... So, out came the cuticle scissors, and I trimmed the nail back as far as I could, then filed the sharp edges down. In the process, I noted that the crack appeared to be shortening (growing out), and perhaps that particular problem could disappear by late fall. Yay!
When we returned home, one of the first things I did was to head for the salon... There was good news all around. Not only is the big toe nail growing out nicely, but the discolored one is holding on, and discoloration is beginning to lighten just a bit. But they will still need painted for the foreseeable future.
She repaired the big toe nail, painted them all up, and did the usual fill on my fingers. But the colors are slightly more noticeable than usual this time. See below:
When I showed my wife, and mentioned that at least I can now wear sandals over the summer, since my nail probably won't fall off, she didn't argue. Is that a good sign? Your guess is as good as mine. Now the proof will come when I put on sandals as we are going out. What will her reaction be?
Did I mention that one of the friendly lady customers who came in, stopped to comment about our always having appointments on the same day? And that they seated us next to each other in the pedicure chairs? Another lady was seated on the other side, and we all were talking about nail colors and types of designs. They both think I should wear bright colors, at least on my toes. Very affirming...
Now for some fun with the shakedown cruise... Following pictures are from Harpers Ferry, WV - at lock 33. Notice the ruins of a gray stone house in the distance. It was the residence of the lock-keeper "back in the day." Now, from the dampness and rot, wood has all disintegrated and the stone outer shell is all that remains.
A close up of the house...can't find it on the on-line aerial map programs....because of the trees growing up through it! But those stone walls look fine...
Following is a telephoto shot of the Hilltop House hotel, which was featured in my last post.
When I saw this bridge, I knew right where I was...it's the high trestle (formerly Southern RR, now Norfolk Southern) just outside of Shepherdstown. I have some pictures of an excursion train on this trestle.
A comment on my attire: wearing a skirt didn't cause any problems. However, I didn't hear "Ma'am" at all on this trip. On the bright side, no "Sir" either. I can handle that.
Following are some pictures from Shepherdstown, WV. Shepherdstown was founded by Thomas Shepherd in 1734 as part of the grant of 222 acres on the south side of the Potomac. Originally named Mecklenberg, in 1798 the corporate limits were extended and it was renamed "Shepherd's Town." It is the site of Shepherd University, and is the only town on the C&O Canal (on the other side of the Potomac) to have a lock (#38) named for it. As in "the Shepherdstown Lock."
For those not familiar with Shepherdstown, it was the focal point of a momentous battle in the US Civil War. On September 19, Union General Griffin sent 2 regiments across the Potomac at Boteler's Ford. They attacked Confederate troops under General Pendleton, capturing four artillery pieces before being recalled. Somehow the message to General Lee got botched, and he was told they lost all 44 pieces. So the following day, retaliation took place. After violent clashes along the heights (with substantial casualties in the 30+ percent range) Union soldiers were decimated by the Confederates. The total Union dead and wounded at Shepherdstown made it the bloodiest battle fought in what would become West Virginia. A sign in town notes that "The whole town was a hospital."
And as a result of that, it is now billed as the most haunted town in America, known as much for its ghostly residents as it is for the local arts scene, university (Shepherd University) and historic attractions (of which there are many.) And there was a documentary about the paranormal activity here on the telly a few years ago. I don't doubt that there are apparitions there...but hope to never meet any.
Following is one of the pretty buildings of Shepherd University (Shepherd State Teachers College, 1872.)
A picturesque main street follows:
And some interesting architecture:
It was a fun day...