Saturday, 27 September 2008

AT: Most surprising trail magic ever and historic places

Donna & Gruevy plus parents
I am hiking down US highway 30 to resupply at a place called Hennicle's super market having visions of fresh fruit and yoghurt... Unfortunately, Hennicle's super market turns out to be an interesting Americana experience, but the worst resupply ever on the whole AT. So I am in no good mood hiking back on US 30 towards the trail crossing with a crappy resupply in my backpack. All of a sudden a car passes me, pulls over and stops and a vaguely familiar looking guy jumps out. I am thinking: "Oh no, not another local who wants to talk about the AT and steal my time." But when the guy starts hugging me and says: "Hey, I am Gruevy - of Donna and Gruevy", it finally dawns on me. This a CDT hiker I had met in 07! Donna and Gruevy live in this area now. It will always remain a mistery to me how Gruevy, who has only met me for one day on the CDT, never hiked with me, did not have a clue I was hiking the AT this year and could only see me from behind on US 30 - recognised me walking down the highway, but he did and I am extremely happy about that!!!!!

Washington Monument
We go and see Donna who also recognises me and of course now big trail talk and gossiping starts. But the trail magic is not over yet. Donna and Gruevy are renovating their house and while they are working at it they live with Gruevy's parents. And these parents are America's biggest distributor of Hummel figures. Yes, I mean German "Hummelfiguren". These are incredibly tacky porcelain figures created by a German nun and sold as souvenirs. I must admit that I did not have much clue about these figures either despite the fact that I was once restructuring a porcelain manufacturer, but I learnt everything about them while I stayed with Gruevy's parents.

War correspondent Memorial
The next day a tropical storm was announced and so I was invited to stay another day. Luckily I accepted because the storm was really bad and we used the chance to visit nearby Gettysburg and its fabulous civil war museum. I had always been very interested in the civil war and so we stayed 5 hours in the museum! Now I know everything I had always wanted to know about this war and even more. Thanks a lot to Donna and Gruevy for this wonderful present - and my second full zero day on the trail. But the history lesson continued on the trail: I walked past the first memorial dedicated to George Washington (also it look like more like a Coke bottle ad to me than a memorial), a civil war corresponent memorial (does such a thing exist in any other country?) and even crossed the South Mountain Civil War battlefield whose little museum came in really handy in a little shower.

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