Monday, October 29, 2018

Maryland Rocks: Part 1 - The Search for Sleep

A last minute trip with split second timing. Could it be done? This time Paul had me do the planning for a 7 day, 70 mile backpacking trip in the mountains of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Thus, two Perkins brothers decided to head back out to the trail,  since Florida seemed to have decided that summer had been extended to cover the rest of October.
We found a week of time when no hurricane was threatening either Florida or the part of the Appalachian Trail that we wanted to hike and bought last minute tickets to Hagerstown, Maryland.
This was to be an easy hike through the woods of three different states, with a few opportunities to go into nice little towns and resupply.
The Sanford Airport, which was usually our go-to, sleepy town takeoff spot, decided to go hardcore with the Homeland Security screening process and it ended up being almost as bad as the big airport we wanted to avoid.
We ended up leaving on time and had a peaceful flight to a little runway in Maryland, only to find that our shuttle driver was not there. A quick call produced "Oh, you mean you are coming this Friday?". I replied, "No, I mean we are on the ground, at the airport waiting for you right now." She said that she was leaving  right away and would be there in 30 minutes. Paul was already wondering if he should not have given up the planning job to a person that did not have a detail-oriented brain. Our ride finally showed up an hour later and we immediately got lost trying to find the trailhead. She didn't mind, as we were paying by the mile. About $45 later, we were standing in the woods, watching our ride go off in a cloud of dust. Feeling good, we marched into the cold Maryland wilderness. I was dealing with a cold and didn't have much of a voice, but aside from that I was feeling strong. Paul was at his best and was excited about his new gear. His pack was only 22 pounds and full of really healthy food. The trail was nice and easy, and the air felt great after escaping the Florida hot and humid soup. Behind us was 95 degree heat, Red Tide at the beaches, and crowds of grumpy people everywhere. We were leaving behind the rat race, politics, and the news in general.
Adventure lay ahead. The characters of the trail and the opportunity to sleep outside under the stars in the brisk mountain air was exciting. We were experienced backpackers, but nothing in our memory helped us with the very first night on the trail of Maryland......

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