John Messeder


The kid and his dad left Norfolk on the Harley touring bike, day after school was out, with a two-man tent and a couple sleeping bags bound to the luggage rack, and headed north.

First night out, Locust lake State Park, just outside Mahanoy City. The night was dark as the inside of a pile of anthracite coal that once created towns like Mahanoy City and the nearby Hometown, and the late start and six hour ride made magnets of their sleeping bags.

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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