14th June

26.1 miles

Bushcamp (1042) to Bushcamp (1068.1)

It was so hot last night I didn’t put the rain fly on my tent. There was a chance of rain overnight but the risk was worth it. I slept well and despite the heat I woke up wrapped in my sleeping bag. When I mention the heat overnight I’m talking about temperatures around 20C (68F). Also, no rain fly woke me early due to the light morning sky. I was hiking by 6am.

Not far from my bushcamp was the Washington monument. Apparently this was the original Washington monument and built before the more famous cousin in Washington DC. It’s listed as a national historical monument. I was there early and the sun had just risen to light up the farmland in the valley below.

For most of the rest of the day I was walking through rocky ridgelines and occasional farmland. Some days it’s about the grand views, other days it’s about the wildlife and yet other days it’s about the people you meet or hike with. Today, I took the time to notice the smaller things on the trail. The flowers, the insects the lichen and moss covered rocks. Or the random snake skin on the side of the trail.

The Appalachian Trail doesn’t stay in the state of Maryland for long. In fact 28 hours after entering the state I departed to the next state of Pennsylvania. Colloquially it’s known as Rocksylvania. Time will tell if this is a fair name for this state. The border was marked prominently as the Mason Dixon Line. Can somebody tell me what that means? It’s more prominent on the border sign than the actual border of the states so I’m guessing it’s something important.

Most people who hike the Appalachian Trail sleep in the provided huts or camp next to them. My early I introduction to these huts was negative. Lots of trash and on occasion too many people. I go hiking to enjoy the natural world and huts just don’t always satisfy my desires to enjoy the wild areas. Anyone hiked in New Zealand? They have an awesome network of huts which are the envy of the hiking world. I’ve spent several months hiking in New Zealand many years ago. By not stating st shelters that leaves me hiking alone and camping alone a lot. I’m not anti social and would love to find like minded hikers, there’s just not too many hikers like that on the Appalachian Trail. The Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail are both full of hikers that like the wilderness experience. I guess I’m sick of hiking alone. 

I made camp alone next to a clear flowing spring. As the sun started to set I could hear distant gun shots. A reminder that I’m not far from the civilised world. Only a couple of random fireflies to keep me company, not as many as last night. Katahdin is calling.

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17 Responses

  1. Anne

    Hello there, from Wikipedia: ‘The Mason–Dixon line, also called the Mason and Dixon line or Mason’s and Dixon’s line, was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute involving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware in Colonial America. It is still a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia (originally part of Virginia before 1863).’ Cheers 🙂

    Reply
  2. Ian

    To add to Anne’s response, for a more culturally symbolic meaning:

    In popular usage, the Mason–Dixon line symbolizes a cultural boundary between the North and the South (Dixie). Originally “Mason and Dixon’s Line” referred to the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. After Pennsylvania abolished slavery, it served as a demarcation line for the legality of slavery.

    Reply
    • Packman Pete

      And moving on in history, the “line ” now represents a border in political ideologies. “Blue” democrat states of the N.E. and “red” republican states of the S.E. Although, that is getting a mix up recently. Sort of like NOBO on the PCT. Liberals on the left, rednecks on the right. And if you’re wondering, I didn’t vote. Don’t blame me.

      Reply
      • BikeHikeSafari

        You didn’t vote? Of course you are to blame. 😉
        Did you know, You are breaking the law if you fail to vote in Australia? Encourages high voter turnout out.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Ok, so it’s quite a significant line between the north and the south. Thank you.

      Reply
  3. Don in Wisconsin

    Some say the Mason-Dixon line is the origin of the term “Dixie Land” for the American South. There are 4 theories:

    1.) A Louisiana based currency, of which the ‘ten’ bill was named for the french ‘dix.’ They were called ‘dixies’ by the local population, and the area around Louisiana became known as ‘dixieland.’

    2.) A certain Mr. Dixy of Manhattan, who owned enough slaves for his name to become synonymous with slavery. There doesn’t seem to be much supporting evidence here, except for a 1861 publication.

    3.) A natural derivation from ‘Mason-Dixon Line,’ which, surveyed in 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, separates the north from the south.

    4.) A game of tag played in New York City streets involving a line of demarcation and a lot of shouting, which was called ‘dixie.’

    Whatever the case, the term apparently became most popular after the song “Dixie Land,” written by Daniel Decatur  Emmett, was adopted by the Confederate army as a sort of de facto anthem.

    “I wish I was in the land of cotton, old times they are not forgotten… Look away, look away, look away, dixie land…”
    It’s catchy, really.

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thanks for the info, I’ve heard that song about ‘Dixieland’ before, maybe in a Hollywood movie. Makes sense now.

      Reply
  4. Matt -- Catamount Cruiser GA->ME '97

    Pennsylvania is not that bad for rocks until the northern part. 2 days or so of rocks. Lots of hype from the negatives and the fearmongers — you’ll be fine. The trail has changed a lot in 20 years. When I hiked the shelters at your point on the trail were empty or just the small bubble of people that I was with or hiking through. Made it pleasant — now with more and more on the trail I would follow your strategy.

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Cheers Mat, I’m starting push further and further ahead of the crowds, soon there shouldn’t be too many people on trail with me.

      Reply
  5. Packman Pete

    On another note, are you aware your looks are very similar to that nut case who went on a shooting rampage in Washington D.C. the other day. Check out his mug shot,,James Hodgkinson. Good thing he isn’t on the run. You would be in trouble.

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      I’m sure he was a lot wider in the waistline than me. I get called a nut job regularly for giving up my career, house and selling all my possessions to live this lifestyle. I’m certainly not a nut job. 😉

      Reply
      • Packman Pete

        Didn’t mean to imply you are. Just saying similar looks. And the nut jobs work till 65, then realize they are too out of shape to have fun. You only live once. No second chances.

  6. BRET

    Hi Brad, it’s Bone Daddy. I’ve been off the PCT for a couple of weeks for a wedding and to clear cut some trees on property I bought in Oregon. Getting ready for a new home. I’ll be back on theTrail headed into the Sierras. I’m anticipating the snow and ice cold river crossings (not so much) I’m Still enjoying your blog when I can. After my long break you will finish long before I will. Will you be returning to Mexico again when you’ve finished at Katharine? Best of luck and safe travels.
    Bonedaddyhikes.com

    P.s. Some info for you
    Mason–Dixon line, also called the Mason and Dixon line or Mason’s and Dixon’s line, was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute involving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware in Colonial America. It is still a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia (originally part of Virginia before 1863).

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Hope the rest of the PCT works out. Not sure on future plans yet, I have a lot of plans but no firm decisions as yet, stay tuned.

      Reply
  7. crazybikedream

    Great blog, always enjoy your posts and wish I was out there hiking biking with ya. I’m a independent minded traveler too. Love the long hikes. AT CDT PCT all a dream of mine! But which one first?

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thank you. Don’t do the cdt as your first, either the AT or PCT.

      Reply

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