It was so nice only having a 7 min drive back to where I got off for the ATC! Normally we have a 45min-1 hour drive so I eat my breakfast on the way, today I just ate at the motorhome and we were where I left off by 6:20. I walked down the brick road I had yesterday and felt like a purist. Following the blue blazes down to where it met the white ones. I was back on track North and came across a tent in a peculiar "campground;" the cemetery. Kind of creepy. I came to Jefferson Rock which was really cool and had eery views of the river and town. The sunrise was trying to peek through the fog and clouds. I walked through High Street and loved how much history this town held, it was so cute. Once I reached the bridge; I saw a sign that read: "Maine 1165 miles, Georgia 1013 miles." Not quite halfway, but getting there! I crossed the Byron Memorial bridge which ran parallel to the railroad tracks. I went under and was in Maryland, following the C&O Canal path which was like a bike path with the river on my right and a swamp on the left. I was getting eaten alive by mosquitos; no joke, I got more bites in the time I was there than the past 3 months. It was hot and humid and I was jogging down the path to keep my blood to myself. I went under a couple overpasses and finally reached the railroad track and road crossing into the woods. I was now in Maryland hiking! 6 states in, 8 to go! Neon had told me that he was surprised how rocky Maryland had been and now I know why. All day I was watching my foot placement on rocks. How do people find this fun?! I walked to Gathland State Park and went inside one of the museum buildings that had ice cold air conditioning on, it felt amazing. I wanted to just lay down and take a nap, no one was in there but I left and headed onward. The heat was dead humidity and it was really getting to me. I rolled up my shirt and sipped on water, below you can see the sweat on my neck like Vaseline. The rocks continued and I was at a low point, having a tough day. I remember a quote saying you only see the good times in photographs, never the bad. So true when you look at these photos in this posting; it looks like I am having a great time, and enjoying the sights to see. But I was something short of miserable, it's been awhile since I've cried on the trail and today I broke that. I couldn't even tell you what got to me, it wasn't the baby this time. I think mostly it was the heat, the rocks, and my feet being sore. There was plenty of history to see and at least I had that to look forward to. About 20 minutes of listening to thunder and I made the call. I knew I would be arriving at Washington Monument State Park soon so I texted both Nana and Papa to meet me there instead of almost 2 miles later. I walked up to see the monument and noticed the big black storm clouds and lightning rolling in. This was about to get bad soon! I tried to get a photo of the lightning but failed and gave up when the winds picked up and the skies got dark. I ran back down the path toward a day shelter near the parking lot, it had a sign for day use only make reservation with the office. Sorry but it's about to downpour I am going to be hanging out here. There were a couple picnic tables and a fireplace and then the thunder crashed and the skies opened up to a downpour. Boy am I thankful I was being picked up! I took off my shoes so they didn't get soaked and planned to walk barefoot down to the car. I had a mini photoshoot to waste time and my service was in and out so I tried to best describe where I was incase we couldn't communicate. The thunder crashed like nothing I've ever heard before, I tried to get a photo of the lightning but kept missing it. I stayed in communication with them and Nana said it was raining so hard they could barely see and there were trees down on the back roads. It worked out so amazingly that I was able to get to cover, and a place for them to pick me up. The PT pulled in and I waved my arms. I got my stuff on, put my rain jacket on and over my pack and walked down to meet them. Papa came out with Nana's flip flops for me to put on and I got into the car. Not even 5 minutes later I was freezing from the sweat, the rain, and now the AC. But I was sitting in a car; dry, happy, and thankful. We saw three deer chilling by the side of the road eating, not caring that we were there. We stopped in the camp store to get a Gatorade, some water, I got a cute pixie dress, and a really cute mug for tea. Maybe I'll have a tea tomorrow to show you all! Mom Facetimed me while I was in the store so I talked to Hunter for a little, but then said I would call back after I showered at the motorhome. I showered and saw my cutie who is getting so big, she is finally getting the hang of FaceTime and is all smiles. Then she needs to stay busy so she stands on stuff, takes steps all around, and plays with her toys. Mom says when the phone rings she asks if it's me. I miss her so much! Nana made pasta with chicken so we didn't have to go out and that was nice to relax. The rain settled down but the lightning continued. Papa said tomorrow was going to storm the same way today did and since we were moving to another campground in Gettysburg he asked if I would mind taking a zero. With a day like today, and the past 4 days of 20+ miles a day I didn't mind at all. I poured myself a glass of grape juice; I mean red moscato and we put in a movie, 5 Year Engagement. What a great movie! I made some popcorn and enjoyed relaxing and staying up late, I think I went to bed around 11:30! Normally it's 9:00 but I get to sleep past 5:30 tomorrow, yay!
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