Monday, June 28, 2010

Crossing the Mason Dixon Line

Well, I feel quite confident we have crossed over into Pennsylvania.  I started at the north end so had 8 miles to hike to get there, but get there I did.  Like the guidebook says, the sign was gone but the post was there.  I found two posts within 20 feet of each other, both with their signs missing.  Someone had used a marker to write, “Mason-Dixon Line” on one, but who’s to say that was the correct post.  Because of it’s location parallel to the railroad track, I’d guess it is the correct one.  To be on the safe side, I made pictures of both posts.

The Mason-Dixon Line may be best known as the imaginary boundary between the Northern and Southern States.  However, the line has been there for about a hundred years before the Civil War.  This is what the guidebook says about the origin of the Mason-Dixon Line which I found very interesting.  

“Between 1763 and 1767 Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon surveyed the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland to resolve a dispute between the Province of Pennsylvania and the Provence of Maryland.  Both Provinces claimed land between the 39th and 40th parallels according to the charters granted to each colony.  The survey line is marked by stones every mile and by crownstones every five miles.  The Pennsylvania side of each crownstone has the coat of arms of the Penn family and Maryland side has the coat of arms of the Calvert family.”

Gene found an internet site which indicates that several of the Mason-Dixon stones are still out there.

The only other thing of any real interest today was the shelter, or should I say, “Shelters.”  The trail passed by two shelter locations within three miles of each other.  This, in itself, is a little unusual.  Generally, shelters are located about ten miles apart.  The first shelter I came to was Antietam Shelter.  This shelter was close to the Old Forge Picnic area which had covered picnic tables, clean water, and pit toilets.  There was a picnic table at the shelter and a large grassy area for tents.

The second shelter was Deer Lick Shelter.  There were two shelters here.  The shelters were a little smaller than what we usually see, but since there were two there was plenty of room.  There was a picnic table here, as well, and two gravel tent pads.  Nice.  This was the first of the “twin shelters” I had seen, but there are apparently several twins through Pennsylvania.

Because of our short hike today, we took a picnic lunch and ate at the Old Forge Picnic area.  It was raining by the time we were ready for lunch so the sheltered picnic tables were a blessing.

That’s it for today.  We’re looking forward to cooler temperatures tomorrow.

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