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Scrum
03-31-2015, 19:47
Reading through the thread debating the merits of hiker feeds as trail magic overload (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/109886-Trail-Magic-Overload), I found the stories about good trail magic experiences to be the most interesting.

So lets focus on the positive, what is the best trail magic you have ever received?

Slo-go'en
03-31-2015, 20:09
Other then the day hiker who gave me the keys to his car so I could drive to town while he day hiked, I'd say the guys serving up fresh Maine lobsters and corn on the cob at the Grafton Notch Parking lot.

Sarcasm the elf
03-31-2015, 21:58
The time when we were Walking around the paid car camping site in near Dennytown Road, trying to avoid the loud jersey shore rejects partying on the grounds and unable to find the A.T. Hiker site that the guide said was there (I'm still not sure if there really was one). We finally just laid down next to to a site where some more laid back people were camped. After about 10 minutes one of them came over to say hi and it turned out to be the guy from EMS that had sold me all my gear! Got invited over for food and microbrews and had quite a good night.

Mags
03-31-2015, 22:08
I wrote this before...

But the real trail magic (to me anyway) is the sheer joy of being on the trail itself. The magic of the trail is being in the mountains for day, weeks or even months on end, seeing the natural world one step at a time, smelling the pine duff on a sunny day, being lulled to sleep by the sound of a rushing brook. And so on.
http://i1.wp.com/pmags2.jzapin.com/gallery2/d/22048-2/image-bw022.jpg?resize=479%2C372


https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8294/7720991598_d027fe601d.jpg

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7130/7720956306_fa9a282b42.jpg
http://i1.wp.com/pmags2.jzapin.com/gallery2/d/19658-1/acf.jpg?w=530

That’s trail magic.

Happy Trails!

ChrisJackson
03-31-2015, 22:16
Hmmm...probably the Thanksgiving dinner we were able to scrounge together on the trail. Still one of my favorite holiday memories. Good times. Everybody pitched in...

mrcoffeect
03-31-2015, 22:19
I was thinking,getting to make new friends has been some of the greatest magic that this miserable old pr-ck has recevied.:)

Donde
04-01-2015, 12:22
Hitting the third dry water source just as the sun is setting, and it is starting to snow, knowing we will have to make 5 more miles to get to water tonight, and then finding a small cache a hundred meters past, in front of a good campsite. Thanks again whoever you were.

88BlueGT
04-01-2015, 14:38
Never really experienced real trail magic before but I think the best thing to happen to me on the trail was staying at a shelter in PA, extremely dehydrated. While reading the shelter log someone mentioned a Dominos that delivered and there was a road directly behind the shelter (maybe 1/4 mile). Bet your butt we hiked up to that road, called Dominos and bribed them into delivering (for a hefty tip). Nothing better than sitting on the site of the street, stuffing your face with pizza and cheesy bread while you gulp a gallon of Pepsi :D

Lesson to be learned: always carry a debit card.

Lone Wolf
04-01-2015, 15:08
one late november many years back i was SOBO out of hot springs. a few nights later i was at cosby knob shelter alone. started to rain then turned to snow. next mornin' i headed out in about 6-8 inches of powdery snow. about ten miles up i came to a point with a wide open view. the sun made the rime ice on a bush sparkle with color. i was alone. no other tracks. i started to cry. it was so damn beautiful and i hadn't a care in the world

Lyle
04-01-2015, 15:15
While I agree wholeheartedly with Mags' sentiments, in the more materialistic vein of trail magic, I would offer one of the following (winnowed from probably hundreds of possible candidates):

The Colorado family who, overhearing us discussing the desire to travel off our route to a historic event the following day while eating dinner at a local restaurant, offered the use of their pick-up truck for the entire day. We took them up on the offer and had a great day.

The Kansas family who, one Sunday morning, noted hikers walking by their home. As we were passing by, they sent the kids out to invite four of us in for Sunday dinner - Fantastic!

The town of Greenville, KY. The locals arranged for a closed down shoe store to provide us with a place to stay with electricity and running water/bathroom. Local church provided dinner for us (Huge spread). When the person needed to approve use of the local high school for showers was out of town, the locals divided us up into small groups and took us to their homes for showers and laundry. The next day, two locals with vans, provided us all-day shuttles for grocery shopping and tours of the local mines. All of this was arranged, spur of the moment, as events took place, no pre-planning or coordination involved. Truly a magical rest day in a small town. Thanks again Greenville, KY!!

Walkintom
04-01-2015, 15:54
Water when there is none.

88BlueGT
04-01-2015, 15:55
one late november many years back i was SOBO out of hot springs. a few nights later i was at cosby knob shelter alone. started to rain then turned to snow. next mornin' i headed out in about 6-8 inches of powdery snow. about ten miles up i came to a point with a wide open view. the sun made the rime ice on a bush sparkle with color. i was alone. no other tracks. i started to cry. it was so damn beautiful and i hadn't a care in the world

Sounds amazing.

peakbagger
04-01-2015, 20:48
I picked up a spare full fuel bottle in the 100 mile wilderness that someone abandoned. I came up to Hurd brook shelter and there was an obviously bummed out new southbounder there with all you gear spread out and the smell of white gas everywhere. His fuel bottle leaked all over his gear and was empty. I reached into my pack and handed him a full fuel bottle and kept on walking. He seemed to really appreciate it.

Just Bill
04-01-2015, 21:06
To the original poster- thanks! These sorta threads are nice to see.

http://1drv.ms/1BScdHj (http://1drv.ms/1BScdHj)

Esbit Tabs- if'n you ain't had a chance to read it yet.
Figure if Mag's can copy an paste an Pappy can string together enough words to share a pleasant thought I might as well too.

As a matter a-fact- I believe this story takes place on durn near the exact same spot as Lone Wolf's. Funny thing that trail...

rickb
04-01-2015, 21:20
Found a wife at Ethan Pond labor day weekend 199O on my first trip back to the AT after my SOBO 7 years earlier. That was magical for all sorts of reasons.

Downside to KNOWING just how magical the trail can be Is that I keep buying MEGA millions tickets with way too much expectation that I will win. The MA lottery's $20 MEGA scratch ticket is really costing me, too.

Then there was the time I drove way too far out of my way to buy a ticket on the Trail in Dalton.

That was a cool stay years earlier. At the time hikers were invited to stay at the town community center-- complete with hot showers and an indoors swimming pool. The thing that made it really magical was when the person in charge handed me the keys and asked that if I go out to just lock up afterwords.

Other stuff that comes to mind was passing Charles Bronson on a bench in the middle of Hanover. Cool, but what made that really magical in a weird sort of way was that the girl who I had been living with immediately prior to my hike was his biggest (and I do mean biggest) fan and we had seen want seemed like all of his movies together- in English, French popular and obscure. I still wonder what the trail was telling me.

Then there was the hike up Katahdin with my wife when we were visit ter by her favorite bird -- a hummer -- on the tableland. I know more than her red hat was involved.

Then there were the Box turtles that appeared at just the right time to tell me to get out of a slump and keep going. The list goes on ...

McPick
04-02-2015, 00:05
My intended effort to complete an AT Thru in 2006 was thwarted by severe shin splints and my mum's 80th birthday. I was off the trail for a month. When I got back on the trail, I realized I'd never get through the Whites and arrive at Katahdin by the mid-October closing date. I opted to take a bus from Hanover to Boston, and then another bus to Millinocket. I climbed Katahdin, and then hiked the 100 miles back to Monson. The hiking season was over. I was 54 years old and realized my dream of hiking the AT since I was 14, was not going to happen. I didn't know then how I would ever be able to return.

Two years later, by a stroke of luck, I found myself back in Hanover, ready to tackle the remaining 300 AT miles north to Monson. My first two days out were like old times. I was thrilled to be back on the trail. Then the third day, I felt a dull pain in my left knee. The pain grew worse as the day progressed. I began to wonder if the knee pain would be a hike-ending situation. I had a long-sleeved tee shirt in my pack. I rolled it up and wrapped it tightly around my knee, which did offer some pain relief. I felt increasingly more discouraged as the day, and the hike, wore on.

Late that afternoon I hobbled into a shelter. No one else was there. Without taking off my pack and with most of my weight on my right leg and poles, I peered into the semi-darkness of the shelter. I noticed a small, black pile of stuff lying on the floor. I reached in and with the tip of my pole, I dragged that black thing to the front of the shelter. I looked down at it in disbelief. It was one of those knee braces that wraps around the leg and Velcros both above and below the knee. (At that moment, I recalled the Scarecrow saying, "Oh joy... Rapture!") Yeah, and I began thinking about all the REAL trail magic I'd witnessed, or heard about, during my months on the trail.

Well that knee brace was a bit dirty, so I took it to the stream behind the shelter and washed it off. I came back to the shelter and hung it in one of the remaining rays of the afternoon sun to dry. As I turned back to the shelter, I heard a voice call out a hello. I looked down the little access trail and saw a young woman headed in. We introduced ourselves and I immediately noticed she was wearing a pretty substantial knee brace. I asked her about it. She told me she'd injured her knee and had gotten off the trail to go to a doctor. She explained everything the doc had told her about the injury, and how to care for her knee as she continued on her hike. She told me she had been concerned about having to end her hike, but the doc convinced her to wear the brace and hike with caution. She said she felt confident and was happy to be back on the trail. I explained to her about my knee and about finding that knee brace, which in-of-itself was astonishing. But to have the extra opportunity to speak with someone who had just been to a doc for the same issue was just unbelievable... Absolutely trail magic at its best!

Just then we heard a hiker call out a hello. We looked up and saw A very BIG man entering the shelter area. We all introduced ourselves. He said his trail name and then said his real name was Tom. Tom began unpacking his pack. When he realized what we were discussing he asked me if I had a knee injury. I told him I did and briefly explained about what had happened, finding the knee brace, the woman hiker's information, etc. Tom stood in front of me and said, " Give me that leg... Right up here on the edge of the shelter." I was kinda shocked and replied, "What?" Tom towered over me and said, "I'm a physical therapist... Let's have that leg so I can check out your knee." Tom took a hold of my knee and immediately located the sore area. He explained about knee bones connected to tendons connected to ligaments connected to muscles connected to nerves, etc... as he dug his thumbs in and massaged the area all around my knee. At one point I looked at Tom and said, "Tom, if you don't lighten up you're going to see a grown man cry!" He got this wild-eyed smile on his face and kinda growled, "Wouldn't be the first time!"

Tom finished and suggested I take some vitamin I for a few days. He encouraged me to wear the brace and hike with caution. Within the next few days, my knee pain was completely gone. Several weeks later, I entered the town of Monson for the second time in my life. I had completed hiking the Appalachian Trail.

So think about this... I was in the middle of the Vermont wilderness with an injured knee. I found a knee brace (which I still have). I spoke with a woman who had just been to the doctor because of her knee injury. Finally, my sore knee was massaged by a professional physical therapist. The chance that even one of them would occur was remote... Nearly impossible.

But all together? That's REAL TRAIL MAGIC!

Come on hikers... Write your Trail Magic story!

Crazy Larry #1
04-02-2015, 07:19
Back before I became a Jesus kind of thinker I experimented with prayer. Long before I had the experience that changed my thinking I was hiking thru SNP and I looked up in the sky and said to God "I sure would like an ice cold coke and snickers candy bar". About a half a mile or so as I was plogging along with my eyes focused on where my feet were being planted I noticed something red sitting in the middle of the trail ahead of me o few yards. When I got right up on it there was an ice cold Coca Cola and an ice cold Snickers candy bar! It shocked me to say the least and I did not know what to make of it at the moment, the prayer that I prayed and the answer thereof. It was sometime before I prayed again but when I did I got an answer. I could go on and on about answered prayers. Best trail magic I ever experienced!

I know there will be some here that think I am full of it, and I am, but I am telling you the truth.....


Reading through the thread debating the merits of hiker feeds as trail magic overload (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/109886-Trail-Magic-Overload), I found the stories about good trail magic experiences to be the most interesting.

So lets focus on the positive, what is the best trail magic you have ever received?

Crazy Larry #1
04-02-2015, 07:28
It sure is and I have no doubt about your story!
My intended effort to complete an AT Thru in 2006 was thwarted by severe shin splints and my mum's 80th birthday. I was off the trail for a month. When I got back on the trail, I realized I'd never get through the Whites and arrive at Katahdin by the mid-October closing date. I opted to take a bus from Hanover to Boston, and then another bus to Millinocket. I climbed Katahdin, and then hiked the 100 miles back to Monson. The hiking season was over. I was 54 years old and realized my dream of hiking the AT since I was 14, was not going to happen. I didn't know then how I would ever be able to return.

Two years later, by a stroke of luck, I found myself back in Hanover, ready to tackle the remaining 300 AT miles north to Monson. My first two days out were like old times. I was thrilled to be back on the trail. Then the third day, I felt a dull pain in my left knee. The pain grew worse as the day progressed. I began to wonder if the knee pain would be a hike-ending situation. I had a long-sleeved tee shirt in my pack. I rolled it up and wrapped it tightly around my knee, which did offer some pain relief. I felt increasingly more discouraged as the day, and the hike, wore on.

Late that afternoon I hobbled into a shelter. No one else was there. Without taking off my pack and with most of my weight on my right leg and poles, I peered into the semi-darkness of the shelter. I noticed a small, black pile of stuff lying on the floor. I reached in and with the tip of my pole, I dragged that black thing to the front of the shelter. I looked down at it in disbelief. It was one of those knee braces that wraps around the leg and Velcros both above and below the knee. (At that moment, I recalled the Scarecrow saying, "Oh joy... Rapture!") Yeah, and I began thinking about all the REAL trail magic I'd witnessed, or heard about, during my months on the trail.

Well that knee brace was a bit dirty, so I took it to the stream behind the shelter and washed it off. I came back to the shelter and hung it in one of the remaining rays of the afternoon sun to dry. As I turned back to the shelter, I heard a voice call out a hello. I looked down the little access trail and saw a young woman headed in. We introduced ourselves and I immediately noticed she was wearing a pretty substantial knee brace. I asked her about it. She told me she'd injured her knee and had gotten off the trail to go to a doctor. She explained everything the doc had told her about the injury, and how to care for her knee as she continued on her hike. She told me she had been concerned about having to end her hike, but the doc convinced her to wear the brace and hike with caution. She said she felt confident and was happy to be back on the trail. I explained to her about my knee and about finding that knee brace, which in-of-itself was astonishing. But to have the extra opportunity to speak with someone who had just been to a doc for the same issue was just unbelievable... Absolutely trail magic at its best!

Just then we heard a hiker call out a hello. We looked up and saw A very BIG man entering the shelter area. We all introduced ourselves. He said his trail name and then said his real name was Tom. Tom began unpacking his pack. When he realized what we were discussing he asked me if I had a knee injury. I told him I did and briefly explained about what had happened, finding the knee brace, the woman hiker's information, etc. Tom stood in front of me and said, " Give me that leg... Right up here on the edge of the shelter." I was kinda shocked and replied, "What?" Tom towered over me and said, "I'm a physical therapist... Let's have that leg so I can check out your knee." Tom took a hold of my knee and immediately located the sore area. He explained about knee bones connected to tendons connected to ligaments connected to muscles connected to nerves, etc... as he dug his thumbs in and massaged the area all around my knee. At one point I looked at Tom and said, "Tom, if you don't lighten up you're going to see a grown man cry!" He got this wild-eyed smile on his face and kinda growled, "Wouldn't be the first time!"

Tom finished and suggested I take some vitamin I for a few days. He encouraged me to wear the brace and hike with caution. Within the next few days, my knee pain was completely gone. Several weeks later, I entered the town of Monson for the second time in my life. I had completed hiking the Appalachian Trail.

So think about this... I was in the middle of the Vermont wilderness with an injured knee. I found a knee brace (which I still have). I spoke with a woman who had just been to the doctor because of her knee injury. Finally, my sore knee was massaged by a professional physical therapist. The chance that even one of them would occur was remote... Nearly impossible.

But all together? That's REAL TRAIL MAGIC!

Come on hikers... Write your Trail Magic story!

Crazy Larry #1
04-02-2015, 07:51
Excellent story and I believe every bit of it....
To the original poster- thanks! These sorta threads are nice to see.

http://1drv.ms/1BScdHj (http://1drv.ms/1BScdHj)

Esbit Tabs- if'n you ain't had a chance to read it yet.
Figure if Mag's can copy an paste an Pappy can string together enough words to share a pleasant thought I might as well too.

As a matter a-fact- I believe this story takes place on durn near the exact same spot as Lone Wolf's. Funny thing that trail...

Crazy Larry #1
04-02-2015, 07:55
one late november many years back i was SOBO out of hot springs. a few nights later i was at cosby knob shelter alone. started to rain then turned to snow. next mornin' i headed out in about 6-8 inches of powdery snow. about ten miles up i came to a point with a wide open view. the sun made the rime ice on a bush sparkle with color. i was alone. no other tracks. i started to cry. it was so damn beautiful and i hadn't a care in the world
Been in similar situations and it is magical..........

Donde
04-02-2015, 14:43
I keep buying MEGA millions tickets with way too much expectation that I will win. The MA lottery's $20 MEGA scratch ticket is really costing me, too.

MEGA Millions you say? Reason #115 to go SOBO:banana

steve0423
04-02-2015, 15:05
While leading a bunch of 14 year olds down a mtn in CO on the one year anniversary of my thru hike summit day, we paused to let some other hikers come up. One notice the ATC logoed hat my wife had on and struck up a conversation. Turns out he had been right behind me in 2013. While driving across Oklahoma on another occasion, I stopped to get gas and was shocked to recognize the voice of the person in line in front of me. Was a lady I’d walked with a bit in the NJ NY, the only person I know in the state of OK.
And then just last week, my wife bought a neo-air from a lady on a Facebook group that buys and sells used hiking gear. When it showed up, there was a note basically saying, “thanks for buying the pad, hope it works well for you etc” on the note was a little printed Katahdin sign. My wife sent the lady a FB message telling her she’d received the package and asked about the trail mentioning that I’d thru’d. This lady asked my trail name and after my wife tells her, she sends back a photo of the two of us signing the waiver to cross the Kennebec. We’d walked together off and on from Stratton to Baxter.

JumpMaster Blaster
04-02-2015, 18:24
The best Trail "Magic" was actually a blessing. I'd been hiking from Clyde Smith shelter and was due to summit Roan that afternoon. It was pretty hot and humid so I burned through my water rather quickly. I got to Ash Gap and decided to stop for lunch and top off. Like a dummy, I drained ALL my water before checking out the spring. All I saw was "spring down blue-blazed path". I didn't see the "unreliable" part.

When I saw the spring was dead dry except for a pitiful mud puddle, all I could manage to get was 8 ounces of mud water filtered through a sock & a bandana (which damn near clogged the crap out of my Sawyer Mini). I trudged up Roan Mountain that afternoon, rationing myself to a sip every 10 minutes.

About 45 minutes into the ascent the clouds opened up, and all the water I ever needed was flowing down from the rocks. :)

As far as human intervention? Getting some bottled water & trash packed out and getting a well-appreciated chocolate chip cookie in the middle of nowhere was nice.