I've been following a young woman who started walking the Appalachian Trail (AT) this month. She's the daughter of the woman who owns the local UPS Store where I drop off work packages I return to vendors and such. She and her Mother have a Blog and I'm trying to keep up on it.
I've read enough books on the Appalachian Trail to be an arm-chair-expert. I'd like to believe that I'm still young enough to take on such an endeavor, but time is ticking. I've heard stories of folks doing it well into their 70s. I’ll probably end up a section hiker, but that’s okay. Maybe when I retire I’ll be able to section hike the whole thing in 7-10 years!
There's this thing called "trail magic" on the Appalachian Trail. It's when people from the surrounding areas come out and either provide food, drink, or other necessities to weary hikers on the trail. They say trail magic happens when you least expect it, but from the sounds of it more folks living near the AT are making this magic happen.
Back in the late 90s, when we had our cabin in Vermont, I used to pick up hitchhikers coming down from the Trail to Bennington and on the flip side I’d pick up others going back up to the Trail from Manchester. It was a little thing on my part, but it was a long walk in and out of town for them.
The other thing common on the Appalachian Trail is no one goes by their real name. They all have “trail names”. If you get on the trail without having picked a trail name others will find on for you pretty quickly. I’d probably use the camp name I had when I worked at a Girl Scout camp in Kansas one summer – Dedo. That was my Dad’s nickname. His little sister couldn't pronounce Dale, I guess. I looked so much like him people called me “Little Dedo” when I was little.
Wouldn't it be cool if we could take “trail magic” and turn it into “everyday magic” where we purposefully did things to make other peoples lives easier and better? And what if we called each other by names similar to trail names, but they were our “who-we-really-are-names”, because they stood for our very best qualities? Think about it!
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting the urge to take a hike!
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