We piled our packs into my husband's even older car and drove to the start point, a place where the Appalachian Trail intersects the C&O just south of Harper's Ferry. It was a nice day for a walk: 70s, dry, not too sunny. There were seemingly hundreds of people on bicycles.
It took very little walking north along the trail past Harper's Ferry to leave all the people and bicycles behind. Suddenly we were mostly alone.
After we pitched our tent at the Horseshoe Bend hiker/biker campsite (mile 79.2), literally only 3 other people passed by for the entire remainder of the day. We were completely alone. Kid was tired and went inside the tent for most of the afternoon, leaving me to read at the picnic table. When it was dark that night, it was really, really dark. This time, we knew it would get cold, so we battened down our tent cover right away, and went to sleep wearing fleeces, jackets, and socks. Much better.
Wearing windbreakers, with our rain covers over our packs, we hiked away into the rain.
When we had recovered sufficiently, kid researched the best auto repair shop in Hagerstown and we took our Subaru over to Dave's Corner, where Dave's delightful son Devin fixed my brakes within an hour and a half while we drank coffee and ate cheese puffs and donut holes from the Sheetz across the street. For some reason, although we were chilly, we continued to sit outside while our car was repaired. (It had stopped raining.) Some kind of switch had flipped. We no longer wanted to be indoors.
Two weeks later, I've been indoors all day.