Day 13 – Heroes and Angels

The great thing about the United States and the historically magnetic effect it has had on a lot of people like me is its generosity, to put it simply.” – Christopher Hitchens

After a delightful breakfast, we left East Berlin and crossed the Conewago Creek.

Bechtel Mansion

Conewago Creek

A few miles out of town a car slowed, the window rolled down, and a lady shouted “I’m going to find a place to pull over.  I’d like to talk to you.”  We were worried we might be in trouble, as the phrase “I’d like to talk to you” never bodes well in relationships or classrooms.  When we caught up to the car, Millie introduced herself.  She told us she had seen us the previous evening while driving into East Berlin.  She had waited twenty minutes for us to walk by her business, The Lady Bug Tea Room, but we never came by.  Alas, we had stopped at the gas station mentioned in yesterday’s post, which delayed us and prevented our paths from crossing that night.  Millie told us she would have made us dinner.  With the memory of our peanut butter, crackers, and granola bar dinner fresh on our minds, we let out a collective groan.  As Millie said, “it wasn’t meant to be.” However, she did bring us a package of Peeps, which are one of Tara’s favorite Easter treats.  Millie asked what our route was for the day.  We told her, and she then said we might be seeing her later.

Millie, our Trail Angel

Just a few minutes after getting the Peeps, we came across John-Michael’s new favorite road.

Peepytown Road

A few hours down the road, Millie returned with a lunchtime picnic!  She brought us fried chicken, broccoli salad (so we could get some vegetables), lemonade, and a box of granola bars for the road.  Millie sat down and talked with us as we enjoyed our lunch.  She told us that she used to live along the Appalachian Trail and would leave food and water for the hikers.  They nicknamed her their “Trail Angel,” a much deserved moniker.  We also learned about her tea room (which is ranked second in the nation!), and her ambition to hike the Appalachian Trail herself when she retires in just two more years.  We need to get to her tea room before she retires.

Our lunchtime picnic provided by Millie, the Trail Angel

As the day was winding down, we made it to Biglerville.  We stopped in a Subway restaurant to take a break and put together a game plan for finding a place to stay. Noticing there was a park in town, we called the local police department to see if they would allow us to camp overnight.  Unfortunately, we got their voicemail.  We asked a woman working at Subway if she thought camping was allowed at the park.  She had her doubts, but suggested we go next door to the fire department and ask them.  We headed over and rang the doorbell.  When Eric, the Fire Chief, answered the door, we explained our situation.  He said camping at the park wasn’t an option, but told us we were welcome to stay on the fire station property.  They had a large back yard with plenty of flat grass-covered land. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, we got a brief tour of the facilities and were introduced to some of the crew of the Biglerville Hose & Truck Company No. 1.

Biglerville Hose & Truck Company No.1 – Patrick, Nathan, Jared, and Eric

We then settled in for the night under the protection of Biglerville’s finest.

Camping at the Biglerville Fire Department