On the first Saturday in April, a Chuck & Crista jaunt through the fruit orchards of Adams County and the elevations of Kings Gap and Piney Mountain in southern Pennsylvania seemed the perfect antidote to a warm March that pushed us too quickly past the early spring blooms of our home territory. Here we might slide back a couple of weeks, to the forsythia and the ornamental cherries, and find a range of blossoms on the apple trees.
From Emmitsburg, Maryland, just below the Mason-Dixon Line, we rolled through the orchards for three hours before making the first climb over South Mountain, where the trees aren’t yet shooting leaves. In the afternoon, we ascended Kings Gap, where a stone mansion built in 1908 by steel magnate James McCormick Cameron overlooks the Cumberland Valley, then took a steep climb over South Mountain to Pine Grove Furnace, the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail, and then rose steadily through Michaux State Forest over Piney Mountain. It was on the South Mountain ascent that we encountered the sign: “On this spot were found three babes in the woods, Nov. – 24 – 1934.” (Yeah? What happened then? As in most things, just look on Google.)
With the sun starting to wane, we again crossed through the orchards, a good tailwind at our backs as the temps fell back toward 60. As Crista exclaimed on the homeward journey, What a good day to be alive! The pics are here.