Billy Goat and Little Pony are doing pretty well on their 1,000-mile summer – I’ve been reading each installment of their Appalachian Trail hike with enjoyment and occasional sympathetic winces. When you are dusty, exhausted and footsore, with a heap of dirty laundry, you just need a stopover like Unionville, famed for hiker hospitality.
"Almost as soon as we walked into town, "Butch", a town employee and the mayor’s emissary gave us the lowdown: we could leave our packs on his porch while we dined somewhere in town, set up our tent in the town’s park, then, after a barbecue, the mayor would meet us and take us to his place for laundry and a shower. After we ran the usual errands (post office, groceries, camp set-up) Butch and the Mayor showed up. The Mayor was a 60-something guy who "ran drugs" (ie, delivered pharmacy orders around the town) and also ran the town. He helped us get our laundry started, introduced us to his new dog he adopted, "Shadow" (named because even though he’s only had her for 10 days, the black lab/chow mix) followed him everywhere) and told us to help ourselves to beer in the fridge, ice cream in the freezer and whatever else ("Nothing here’s really worth stealing," he said.)."