Friday, July 4, 2014

Day 89-Happy Independence Day!

I think I'm up early until I see other people and then I think; man, they're crazy too! Maryland has been so rocky, they warn us that Pennsylvania is rocky; but forget to mention Maryland was too. Pen Mar Park was a nice park for gatherings and picnics but it had an inaccurate sign stating that Georgia was only 920 miles away and Maine is only 1080 miles away-both wrong. Not too much longer and I was crossing the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania! I loved the Appalachian Trail signs on the sides of the roads, Pennsylvania will be glad I don't live in this state because one may be missing if I did. I saw some gorgeous wild mini orchids that I didn't even know grew around here. The terrain was great and then I came to a huge tree blocking the trail, it must have been recent since there wasn't a worn path around it yet. I hit some rocky patches but nothing that didn't get better after a little while, I don't mind the rocks in the morning as much as I do at the end of the day. The weather this morning was around 60-65 degrees and throughout the day it didn't go over 75 degrees I don't think which was amazing. There was a breeze all day and the humidity was gone, leaving just blue skies. The trail leveled out and I was just walking in the woods, it reminded me of walking trails in Connecticut. I hit one shelter, then another, a recreational park area, and then I headed up the mountain. The terrain turned back to rock and it was a steep grade of rock steps. Had it been hot and humid like the previous days I would have been miserable, but the constant breeze kept me calm. When I reached the Tumbling Run shelters I thought I was at a campground. In between the two shelters was a gazebo covering a picnic table, the shelters had pads for tenting, real metal fire pits, and crushed gravel. Not to mention there were two shelters; one for snoring, one for non snoring-priceless. I hit more rock steps to the top of the mountain and got to the chimney rock lookout, I followed the blue blazes and climbed the rocks to find a view and a local. He was just hiking up to the rocks and said he was going to go work in his Escort after, I briefly told him about the RX-8. We carried small talk for a bit and then I carried on North and he hiked back down to his car South. I was having a great day and I decided to stop at a rock on the side of the trail in the woods for lunch. I had a fancy roast beast sandwich for lunch today and enjoyed it! I follow barefootcarver on Instagram (he cares for the Rocky Mountain Shelter and leaves hand carved spoons for hikers) and have wanted one of his spoons since. I messaged him yesterday saying I'd hit the Mason-Dixon Line today, wondering where I could get one of his spoons. He replied that he would leave a few at the Rocky Mountain Shelter which was perfect since I would be passing that shelter today. I got to the sign that read .3 off the trail, I walked down to find the two shelters with no spoons in sight. The first shelter had someone sleeping in it with his stuff sprawled out, it was around 1:30pm. I looked around as best I could without waking him, and headed back to the trail after finding nothing; maybe he hadn't come yet. I messaged him on Instagram and continued to the pickup spot for today. I knew I only had 3 miles left but what I didn't know was Rocksylvania was about to say hello. Now I know why it's called Rocky Mountain; the rocks however were more like boulders. As long as they are small, loose, and making me constantly think where to step to not twist my ankle I am alright. It took a little longer scaling boulders for 3 miles instead of walking 3 miles but my spirits were still high. Papa was waiting on the trail to take my photo as I walked out to the car, finally he got the orientation right. I got in and we headed to Gettysburg. Nana told me how they had gone shopping and she got me two pairs of shorts, a t-shirt, a dress, and flip flops to wear while we are here or to take with me if I want. We drove to Gettysburg National Military Park and were able to drive through with the car, getting out to take photos at the monuments. What a great way to spend 4th of July! I knew a lot of hikers were taking the train into DC; but since Ryan and I hit up DC on the way to Georgia I didn't really want to go again, Gettysburg is better! We had the bluest skies and the most perfect weather. After the monuments, I put Sachs Covered Bridge in my phone GPS and we headed to see that. Turn right it would say to a road that wasn't there, turn right again to a road that wasn't there, then we got on the highway and did a circle back to where we were. How frustrating, we were going in circles and back to the entrance to the monuments. We finally found it and I am glad we did. It looked brand new for how old it was, probably because you weren't able to drive over it. It was gorgeous. We headed back to town for dinner and settled on a place Nana saw when they were out earlier. The inside was adorable with hanging brass pots, script wallpaper writing, and wood floors. I ordered mozzarella salad as starter and it was huge; with fresh mozzarella, romaine, roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes, and balsamic-yum! For dinner I got chicken with a dark wine sauce topped with mushrooms and pancetta, green beans, and rice. Another great restaurant to add to the tally! When we got back I showered and got everything ready for tomorrow, and heard from barefootcarver  saying he's not sure how he missed me; but where do I plan on being tomorrow that he will bring me one. It really sucks when I go to bed by 9:30 and can hear everyone in the campground out having a good time. Maybe tomorrow I can see if a surrounding town has fireworks to go to! Work, work, work; all day long. Goodnight!

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