AT North looks a lot like AT South before dawn. I walked little more than half a mile in the wrong direction
Regretfully recalling every time I politely sneered at others who have made this mistake.
Another casualty of my predawn departure: Brigadoon claimed my hiking poles. A diligent search failed, so I left them; perhaps I will have the chance to come back and search for them another day? Could be.
We walked through rank after rank of hills, Roxanne and her support team swapping the lead with me until my legs started to ache. Tar Jacket Ridge, only a 400' climb to 3847', why so hard? There are some things that numbers can't measure.
My water ran out on the final descent.
Which opened into a wide meadow at Hog Camp Gap.
The couple who carry Roxanne's magic cornucopia had claimed the space next to the tree with a swing, and were enjoying themselves while R patiently stood guard. I may be a recognized Friend and Giver of Good Scratch, but she barked at me anyway and disturbed the Magicians Who Provide Food and Water who interrupted their playtime to makes sure that Roxanne and I were being friendly.
Another perfect place. I chose a site under one of the apple trees, dumped my pack, and headed downhill to the spring with my water purifier and bladders. The resupply can wait for tomorrow, I thought.
Somewhat recovered after drinking about half a liter of delicious fresh spring water straight from the purifier, I returned to the camp and wandered around to explore the place. Why only a few apple trees in such a large field?
I misinterpreted an AT sign pointing to Wiggins Springs (0.5 mi) -- good, a hiker friendly town! and offered to go in search of beer to celebrate our day. After a half hour of thumping down a dirt road and finding only "NO TRESPASSING" signs and locked driveway gates, though, I turned back uphill.
Wiggins Springs doesn't seem to be the sort of rural place where one can wander in to a store, chat with the locals, and hitch a ride back uphill with a six of Yuengling. Fences and walls keep people out, but they also lock people in.