Tuesday, July 3, 2001

day 52, Brown Mtn Creek S, VA

Start:  Johns Hollow Shelter
End:  Brown Mountain Creek Shelter
Miles:  17.6 today, 785.2 total

Ok, I want to talk a little about Trail Magic.  Well, first of all, I'm writing this at Rusty's, just after midnight, the morning of July 6.  But anyway... Trail Magic.

Trail Magic happens when unexpected fortune befalls (is that a word?) a hiker.  Usually this fortune takes its physical form through the medium of sodas, candy bars, or beer.  These goodies are most always delivered by Trail Angels.  A Trail Angel can be pretty much anyone who gives valuable trail commodities to hiker(s), expecting nothing in return.  Usually a Trail Angel is not a current hiker, though that IS quite possible.  Often Trail Angels hiked all or part of the AT in the past, or consider hiking a hobby.

I bring up Trail Magic now because it has been happening a lot lately.  It seems like since we left, say, Pearisburg, there have been many instances of Trail Magic.  And, up until a couple days ago (actually, July 4th), I wasn't getting any of this magic.  D-Con, Beer Stick, Yahtzee, Big Toe, Q-tip, Grasshopper, Raver... on and on... they all got sizeable doses of Trail Magic.  Sodas, cookies, beer, pistachios, etc.  Well, that changed for me on the 4th when Grasshopper gave me enough food to get me to Rockfish Gap happily (thanks, dude!).  Ramen isn't as fun as cookies, though.

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