Sunday Trail Magic
I hiked five days last week. I continue to increase the weight in my pack to strengthen my back. I do this by adding my books to the backpack. I know that one book is about 3 pounds. Currently I'm carrying 4 books on my back, but by the time I leave, I'll be carrying the equivalent of a dozen. The fact that I'm carrying the weight of the previous book while preparing to write the next one seems right somehow.
Sunday I slept til noon. I haven't done that for years but I guess the previous week filled with all the new activity caught up with me. One of my dreams is to build a tiny home in the near future so I met some friends at the tiny home festival later that day.
After the festival I was driving back home when I saw this guy with a full pack hiking down the side of the road. I quickly turned the truck around to see if he needed a lift. He graciously accepted. It turned out that Richard, AKA Tennis, had been walking the Appalachian Trail for a while and had to hop off to seek some minor medical help.
I asked him if he'd tell me his story and he agreed. We talked in my truck as we drove. His story was one of overcoming addiction. As he spoke, I knew his words would be the perfect bridge from the past Hidden South to the present.
And his story was all about trail magic. The term trail magic is defined as an unexpected act of kindness that is a quintessential part of the Appalachian Trail experience. Hearing his story confirmed that this existed in spades on the AT.
We arrived at the trailhead and took pictures. I noticed to the right of us there was a pair of trekking poles. I said, "Hey look, somebody forgot their poles over there." He excitedly told me that they didn't forget their poles, this was trail magic! If someone doesn't need something anymore, they leave it for someone else to use. I asked if he needed them and he said, "No, you take them."
So I received my first bit of trail magic Sunday in multiple ways, the gift of Tennis' story and a pair of well used trekking poles. I'm sincerely grateful for both.