Appalachian Trail Mile 1068.0

Friday, July 21, 2017 (Day 79)

I went in to Wayensboro, PA today. I hitched in with two other hikers, it was easy enough…though it is always easiest alone. We hitched from Pen Mar road to the Wal-Mart in town. We left our things to charge, leaning our packs against the wall between the curved black metal benches of the in-store arcade. I was a bit more decisive with my resupply. It helps to fall in to a routine, eat the same things each day: oatmeal, potatoes, plant protein, beans. On town days, I always get a grapefruit. They are delicious, and usually cheaper than buying juice.

A group had gathered in town. They were all eating lunch at the Applebees. I joined them and drank endless cups of coffee. The waitress was having a bad day. I said something to her, and she made an effort, but she was clearly not happy to have us as guests.

Two of us began the walk back to the trail. The others got a hotel and stayed the night in town. The hitch back was easy; a smiling middle-aged couple in a silvery SUV. They were locals and new where we were headed. We made small talk filled with pleasantries and genuine interest in each other’s lives.

I spent some time at Pen Mar park. It is a beautifully maintained park. It is very big with many covered seating areas and viewpoints. They host live music on Sundays.  I began hiking with the setting of the sun.

I passed the Mason Dixon line; a line created in the resolution of a border dispute involving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware in Colonial America. It is sometimes considered the cultural boundary between the North and the South. I was in the Mid-Atlantic.

After a climb and some road crossings, I came to a very cold and pristinely clear spring. It did not have a steady flow, but it had deep pools for collection. It was delicious, and full of fresh energy. It was the type of water one feels blessed to hydrate with…a true earthly gift.

I slept near the spring.

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