Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The Breaking of the Fellowship
I endured a vicious thunderstorm last night and rain threatened to reign for the majority of the day. When the downpour ceased Swagman and I rushed to pack up and shuffled the short distance to Oldtown, Maryland to dry out and fill our faces with feed.
The only restaurant in town is the Schoolhouse Kitchen, located in, yes, you guessed it, a former schoolhouse. The place had ended decades as a source for the educational needs of the young back in 2000, likely due to a lack of students. I deduced this fact from the senior class photos that lined the wall, which included just a few individuals in the later years.
After lunch and a short rest I shook hands and parted ways with Swagman. I have benefited greatly from his experience and his knowledge of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. I will miss the company most of all, though.
I crossed the Potomac into West Virginia and began the trudge to Fort Ashby. Rain dogged me nearly the whole way. The state had only three dry days in April and has had only one in May, according to our waitress in Paw Paw yesterday.
I wasn't sure whether to feel welcome or not, the locals sent mixed messages with such signs as "Jesus Loves You Way" and "if you can read this sign you are in range."
I also had my first run in with the state's wacky road numbering. I walked for awhile on road 1/3. The fraction seems, at least from my first experience, to indicate the amount of cars one sees in an average hour. The number was about right in this instance as I walked three hours and saw only one car there. The ADT has many signs here so far - if that continues at least navigation here will be a breeze (famous last words).
I landed in Fort Ashby around five and had a nice meal at the Town Kitchen, where I discussed the Wounded Warrior Project with two sisters. I gave them my card and they were so kind as to pay for my meal. Their kind act nearly had me in tears (fatigue makes me emotional okay :).
Fort Ashby was originally (surprise!) a fort, one of 69 Colonel George Washington had built in 1755 to protect the area from hostile Indians. Mr. Washington was a common theme this day, as he is said to have regularly visited a man named Joseph Cresap and slept at his house while in Oldtown. Oh, and by the way, Fort Ashby is the only one of those 69 forts still standing.
I managed fourteen miles today and have reached the 300 mile mark for my journey. Only a few thousand miles left to go :)
14 miles/287 total miles