Our first Fall excursion was a mixture of study and recreation, allowing ELT students from the freshman and sophomore classes to get acquainted. Our target was the area around Harper's Ferry WV, site of John Brown's rebellion and the point at which the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers merge as they pass the main trace of the Blue Ridge.
Our first activity was a rafting trip down the Shenandoah, conducted by Blue Ridge Outfitters. After splashing through the last rapids of the Shenandoah and drifting past the town of Harper's Ferry into the Potomac, we disembarked for lunch, then proceded to the Harper's Ferry National Historical Park.
After an orientation to the region's geology by Drs. Holtz and Merck, the group split, with one group exploring the historical interpretive facilities of the town while the other crossed the Potomac to scale Maryland Heights. These cliffs mark the point at which the Potomac cuts through the resistant rocks forming the Blue Ridge. From their vantage point, both the outcrop and map scale geology of the region were conspicuous.