Article added Wednesday, December 6, 2000
A Worm in Burkittsville?
Story by Greg McCulley
|Behold, the Worm!|
Marty Lamp and
Dennis Vass believed enough in this idea to join in. Today,
December 2nd, is also the day John Brown was hanged back in 1859. He
had been sentenced to death after raiding a federal weapons arsenal at
Harpers Ferry, (West) Virginia in an attempt to ignite an uprising
against slavery. John Brown had probably walked these very paths,
while visiting Chambersburg just before his raid. His headquarters
before the attack was the Kennedy House, which lay just beyond the end
of our hike.
|The original Washington Monument|
Three miles in, at the George Washington Monument, noted for being his first, was an impressive stone structure with a spiraling staircase to beautiful views. Soon after, we climbed onto South Mountain for the remaining fifteen miles of the journey.
Midway up the largest elevation gain of the segment we took a side
trail to a
shelter. Luxury is what we found. The near cabin came complete
with spring, covered woodbox, deck, chairs, fireplace, porch swing,
and a skylighted privy! Marty and I were willing to stay for the night,
but Dennis had a new tent that he wanted to test exposed on the ridge,
so we ventured the next half mile to this place.
|Sunrise on Lamb's Knoll|
"I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me, I will turn to see the fear's path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain".
The litany calms me as I drift into sleep. As it turns out, we all woke the next morning unmolested, lacking any strange wooden figures hung in the trees around our campsite, or small piles of stones neatly placed around us. We ate eggs and potatoes and made big cups of coffee in the fifteen degree cold under a bright sun. The AT had more history to offer at Gathland State Park where a stone arch stood in tribute to the dead and injured of a Civil War battle that took place days before the infamous Battle of Antietam.
Finally, we decend South Mountain stopping at Weverton Cliffs for panoramic views of the Potomac River. My feet hurt and I am seriously considering trading the trusty "Ridge-Rest" in for a "Therma-Rest". Other than that, I am feeling good about the winter hike. This year it's back to the Cranberry Wilderness and everyone knows to expect the worst.
When he's not throwing ends on his favorite West Virginia river, riding his mountain bike on the meanest trails, or explaining the intricacies of "Dune", published poet Greg McCulley likes to write for iPlayOutside.