We’ve been in Virginia for so long that we got used to the way that state was handling the pandemic but things are radically different just across the state lines. As soon as we got into West Virginia and Maryland the change was drastic and shocking. Literally everything is shut down in Harpers Ferry except for a handful of places to stay and one restaurant. Here in Maryland, the difference is palpable even on the Trail. I didn’t see anyone hiking all day and the signs announcing closure of the shelters are menacing.
This fractured and inconsistent response is unnerving. I knew from news reports that each state was responding differently but I hadn’t experienced it first hand until now. No wonder we are still struggling so uncertainly through this.
The Trail today through Maryland was easy and fast. I hiked 24 miles and it went by quickly with just a short break for lunch. There are a lot of interesting Civil War memorials and markers and I stopped to check those out along the way. I’ve also been listening to the 1619 NYT podcast about the slave trade and it it made it all seem so real as I passed through many of the places that they are referring to in the episodes.
As we approach the Mason Dixon line, the difference between the south and north really come into focus. We are noticing fewer large farms and more densely populated areas closer to the Trail. I fought so hard to get out of Virginia and I’m missing it already. I’ll be in Pennsylvania tomorrow and we will be there for a couple hundred miles. I am hoping I can connect with my friend Polly while I pass through and looking forward to walking through Amish country.