Harper's Ferry

Yep, Spring is coming. As soon as the sun came out last week and the temperature climbled into the high 60s, the crowds came out of the shadows and packed the tourist locales. Harper's Ferry 2

Drove up to Harper’s Ferry, WVa, about an hour from Washington and the touristas had already packed the streets.

The entire downtown section of Harper’s Ferry is a National Historical Park.

The main street climbs a long hill lined with historical buildings, many of which have become overpriced antique shops and stores that offer the standard tourist fare.

Most of these shops are owned not by locals but newcomers who moved to Harper’s Ferry and then had to find a way to make a living. From the downtown area, the park follows the Shenandoah River for a couple of miles.

The river becomes a favorite for tubers, crazies who ride downstream in an inner-tube. Often, they have a second tube to hold the cooler and beer.

But Harper’s Ferry, like so many rural areas, faces the onslaught of city folk seeking a "country lifestyle."

However, once the newcomers escape the city, they start missing some of the amenities of urban life and the country charm is quickly lost, replaced by strip malls, chain stores and coffee shops. Doesn’t take long.

But what is the proper balance when it comes to quality of life versus quantity of life? Do we need more amenities when it comes to life in the country?

In Floyd County, I know people who swear they will never set foot in the new Food Lion grocery store when it opens yet they will shop at a Food Lion or Kroger in Christiansburg. Life, as we know it in Floyd, will not end when Food Lion opens but there will be changes — some good, some bad. In time, and only in time, we will know if the good outweighs the bad.