I was half asleep when I wrote the blog last night. I must have confused you when I said we are walking 22km today to do a Nero (seeing that I explained before that Nero is Almost Zero and 22km isn’t almost zero….).
We have decided to try a new format, I don’t know if it has been named by other hikers yet so I will call it Sero: Semi Zero. The idea is to walk into the town we are Zeroing in at whatever time and at whatever mileage it takes to get there, and to then take the next 24 hours as Zero. So it is a semi-zero (Sero), a Zero spread over 2 days. We have set a target date for completion of the thru-hike (if all goes well) and a Zero the way we have been doing it uses a lot of time as the days on either side of the Zero tend to be shorter days, the Sero will “save” some time. It is an experiment, we will see how it works out.
Iceman and Barb invited us to stay over at their home in Lancaster County (close to Lancaster city) tonight. Iceman picked us up from Port Clinton, and first took us to the Port Clinton candy store. We have heard and read about the candy store and it is a little gem:
I wouldn’t mind opening a shop like this in Parkhurst!
We then drove out to their lovely home in Lancaster (Helen: you would love the garden!), a +/- 45min drive. We spent the rest of the afternoon having a bath, doing laundry, drying our tent out after last night’s rain, getting shoes cleaned up a bit, and relaxing. Barb put out loads of fresh fruit to boost our immune systems and gave us some Whoopey pies (a local delicatessen, 2 soft biscuity outsides with an almost meringue type – but soft and sticky – filling). Then we had a Sunday Roast meal on a Tuesday!!!! and even though both Trevor and I tried to behave like civil house guests instead of hungry hikers, having such an excellent home cooked meal (our previous home cooked meal was beginning of May at Mathilda’s) played havoc with our self control 😀.
After dinner we went for a drive around the country side. Remember it stays light untill after 9. This was a special experience which we never would have had without the Martins’ invitation to Lancaster.
There are strong Amish and Mennonite communities in the area and driving through the farming areas we saw many Mennonites on bicycles and Amish in buggies. The farms are beautiful and it almost felt like witnessing life from a few decades ago.
On our drive we went through 2 of 3 adjacent town with the names ‘Bird in Hand’, ‘Paradise’ and ‘Intercourse’ – I have no idea how the towns in this area get named….
Back home we had dessert; Shoofly Pie (another local delicatessen: crusty outside with a cinnamon and molasses filling) and 3 Berry Pie (both pies Armish-baked) with a local brand of ice cream. It shouldn’t be seen as over eating – it was educational: learning about the places you are travelling to!
We were chatting to Iceman about the Scott Jurek and Karl Meltzer Appalachian records (now been broken) and he has met both of them during their record breaking runs. He said both men were friendly and took time to stop for a chat. Nice to hear that, though their targets were to break records, they still honoured the social spirit of the trail.
Even though this is our first Sero I am sure it will end up being our best ever!