Day 14 – Crossing the Appalachian Trail

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. — Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

As we were packing up our stuff in the morning, Jared came out and offered to let us use the bathroom and have some breakfast.  While we were using the bathroom, Jared had to go on an EMT call.  He wished us well and was off to presumably save a life.   Dawn, who works at the Fire Station, told us Jared had already made some breakfast for us; oatmeal with fresh apples. Jared, if you’re reading this, thank you!  As Tara said, “that’s the sweetest thing ever.”  Dawn was joined by April, Eric’s wife, who also works there, and they made for good company and conversation while we had our breakfast.

On our way out of Biglerville, we stopped at The Apple Bin, per Millie’s suggestion, and had some muffins and milk.  Millie, we’re happy to report it was delicious.

Heading into the mountains, we passed through several miles of apple orchards.  We were too early to see them in bloom, but it was still a beautiful walk.

One of many apple orchards that dot the hillsides

Walking through Arendtsville, we stopped to talk to Robin, an artist, and her dog, Buddy.

Robin and Buddy

As we made our way into the mountains, the terrain was becoming quite hilly, and we were going uphill more than downhill.  Needless to say, it’s a workout pushing our carts up steep hills.

A round barn. Apparently, these are an “endangered species” of barns.

After walking uphill for three miles straight, we stopped at Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium for a break.  We’d been hearing about this place since Lancaster County, so we had to check it out.

Mister Ed’s is a quirky place full of tooth-decaying paraphernalia.  In other words, every child’s (and Tara’s) dream.  As Mister Ed says, he has the most elephant figurines, statues, and other collectables in the world, and no one has ever contradicted him, so he assumes that’s a fact.

Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium

This elephant was sick. Normally it talks and moves. Today it was frozen, much like us.

We picked up a piece of peanut butter chocolate fudge and a bottle of sarsaparilla soda to share.  While making our purchase, we talked to the groundskeeper, Roy.  He gave us some tips about the Appalachian Trail and wished us well.

We walked a few more miles down the road and found where the Appalachian Trail meets U.S. 30.  This seemed like a great place to setup camp for the night.  As we were figuring out how to get our carts up the trail, Melinda and Clarissa stopped to take a picture of the trail sign. After finding out what we’re up to, we were given their official stamp of approval; they said we’re “legit.”

Melinda and Clarissa

Melinda ran to her car and brought us back several energy bars, which are always a useful food source and probably hold a better nutritional value than what we picked up at Mister Ed’s.

We setup our tent just off the trail and settled in for the night.

Camping along the Appalachian Trail