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 staying at shelters that leaves me hiking alone and camping alone a lot.
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.