The Appalachian Trail: Day 36

May 4, 2017

We headed back to Walmart early this morning to wait for our shuttle ride back to the trail. It was a good morning and we were all well rested. That didn’t stop me from gulping down a cold Dew, though. I wanted the caffeine and calories to help me keep up with my hiking partners.

I’m usually pretty quiet when I’m not singing so it was nice to just listen to people conversing for a change. I did try to chime in with some odd questions when I could, like “what kind of mechanical or cybernetic augmentation would you get if technology allowed?” I’d take a robot eye… We passed a power line that was humming and crackling loudly with all the electricity running through it but the clearing gave us a wonderful view. 

There was an open-minded Settler’s Museum a few miles into the day that we heard about and thought would be interesting to see if it’s not too far off trail. We then heard that the old schoolhouse there was chock full of trail magic. We hurried on for lunch at one of the most thoroughly thoughtful pieces of trail magic I think I’ll ever see. They had snacks, fruit, drinks, and candy! They also had more hiker gear than some outfitters I’ve seen. Toothpaste/brushes, shoelaces, batteries, sunscreen, allergy and pain meds, safety pins, etc.. Pretty much anything you could think of and several things that you wouldn’t.

The schoolhouse itself was quite neat. Just a single room with a large chalkboard covering one wall and a wood stove in the center. On one wall was a list of the teacher’s rules and on the back wall (next to a bamboo switch) were the rules and punishments for the kids. I’m pretty sure that I’d be hurting when I went home every day.

We hiked through many pastures today and even a few bogs. I really enjoy all the boardwalks, maybe because it’s just a change from the woods and mountains. There was a bit of road walking this afternoon which seems almost harder than hiking sometimes, like my body is no longer used to flat or smooth surfaces.

We made camp just before the Quarter Marker. I’m 1/4 of the way to Maine! We set up camp quickly as there was supposed to be a storm tonight. Sure enough, we barely made it in time. The rain does make a nice lullaby though.

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