John Messeder


It is a longer drive to the Walmart at the far edge of my hometown than to the one nearly 20 miles over a nearby mountain. The one at the edge of my town is only about three miles from my driveway.

It also is several traffic lights and, during tourist season (about three days short of year-round), enough traffic to make a Washington, D.C. commuter cry while trying to navigate the path directly through town. Most times, it’s quicker to go over the mountain.

John Messeder is an award-winning environmental columnist and social anthropologist, and lives in Gettysburg, PA. He may be contacted at

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