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kkshaydvm.concentric
03-10-2003, 22:31
We will be vacationing in the Smokey Mtn. Nat'l. Park area 3/28-4/7 and wondered where would be a good place to try to provide some Trail Magic and would appreciate ideas of what they might like (food, rides into town, or what?). Needless to say, we haven't thruhiked YET - someday.

Lone Wolf
03-10-2003, 22:34
Clingman's Dome or Newfound Gap.

smokymtnsteve
03-10-2003, 22:41
food and rides at clingmans and rides at newfound..

also in gatlinburg rides back to the trail..rides back to the trail are harder to find IMO....Plus you get to ride with happy and clean hiker who has washed up in town...lots of folks looking for rides at the Happy Hiker in gatlinburg

Aubrey
03-10-2003, 22:45
Let's not forget the Hilton (Shelter just off the AT at the top of the hill on the south side of the damn); I've had some great parties there as well.

As for what to bring - hikers are pretty easy to please. Sodas, Iced Teas, Beer, candy bars, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, fruit - pretty much whatever we can't carry with us will put a big smile on our faces.

But regardless of where and what, on behalf of hikers everywhere, THANKYOU! That's mighty neighborly of you. :)

Enjoy your hike in the Smokes!

rickb
03-10-2003, 23:08
Personally, I think it is weird for people to head to the Trail with thoughts of feeding a thru hiker. More than that, I think its a piss poor idea.

Rick B

Groucho
03-10-2003, 23:55
Yeah, if you feed 'em they'll eventually have to be disposed of or relocated. This is the thru-hikers feeding bears thread, isn't it?

Blue Jay
03-11-2003, 09:01
I must agree with Mr. Boudrie, helping other people is just plain disgusting (??????????). What is your problem? At least we know who Wingfoot is masquerading as.

smokymtnsteve
03-11-2003, 12:24
oh yes being nice and playing nice with other folks is jsut plain horrible...a cold drink and an offer of a ride is just disgusting ..so disgusting that in march - april of 2000 ..played on the trail with my truck and gave ridesw and goodies to over 150 hikers...i kept a guest register in my truck ...just like a shelter register...asked for the hilkerws to leave me thier name and home city-state country...most were very grateful and we all had a great time..

fontana is a great place to visit and hikers always need a ride tro the PO and back...had 15 people in and on the truck for one trip..a very funny register entry...

"hanging one the back bumper 14 others in the truck ..hope smoky doesn't mash the gas to hard, wahoo"

:banana

MOWGLI
03-11-2003, 12:37
I think Rick has a really good point. Some people actually put together business cards and call themselves "Trail Angel" on the card. To me, that is Weird.

After my thru-hike, I sat at the road crossing at Rte 17A in Warwick one afternnoon in late June or early July with some friends, a bunch of sodas & beer, and lots of food. The only hiker to show up that day was E-Z Does It, who I believe belongs to this forum. I have not done any trail magic since.

To me, the best kind of trail magic is the spontaneous offer of a ride or drink, or the anonymous jugs of water left at a trailhead during a drought.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the trail magic that I received during my hike, but some of my encounters with Trail Angels were downright strange. The ones that were most magical were the unplanned, unorchestrated types.

Little Bear

kkshaydvm.concentric
03-11-2003, 13:27
Thanks for all the input everyone. We'll wing it and see what happens. Hey, Smokeymtnsteve, check your register - my son J. Hay (Skirty) went thru Fontana in late March 2000 on his thruhike.
Maybe he was one of the ones crammed in your truck. He's tramping NZ now so I can't ask him about trail angel controversy. I just know he always seemed to appreciate unexpected kindnesses along the way.

Footslogger
03-11-2003, 13:41
In all my years of hiking the AT the only trail magic I've ever experienced was a totally anonymous trash bag full of candy bars handing on a tree branch or an Igloo cooler filed with cold water/gatorade on a rather dry section of the trail.

Personally, I think what people do is their business. If someone gets satisfaction from driving out to a road crossing and offering hikers a cold drink or a snack then I say more power to them.

Some pretty judgemental comments above on this topic - maybe time to look in the mirror. Anything can be taken to an extreme ... but what is weird and what's not on an overall basis is no one person's call ?

Jitterbug
03-11-2003, 13:57
I'm jumping into this late, but I wanted to point out that the road to Clingman's Dome is not open to cars until conditions allow, usually sometime around or after April 1st, I believe. Call the park to confirm. Also, rides into town at Newfound Gap are much appreciated as hitchhiking was not allowed at that spot and the park service DID enforce that when I was there.

Aubrey
03-11-2003, 14:15
I think it is ... odd that some folks actually want others to disregard the urge to head out and be completely nice to utter strangers.

I've enjoyed trail magic of all kinds: people have loaned me their cars, their trucks. I've been allowed to stay in the homes of total strangers - alone. I've been given water when I was thirsty, hot dogs when I was hungry, a smile when I was down.

I've run into massive parties set up along the trail. Parties like the Rat Patrol's, Stick's party at Washington Monument State Park in '96. These are BIG, well-planned, affairs. And not a single person was left unsatisfied, untouched, unmoved by the sheer generosity of these folks.

And yes, I've run into those competitive trail angels as well.

"Ride with me!"
"No! Ride with ME!"

I flip a coin and say, "Thanks for the ride."

About the only trail magic that I disagree with is really nothing more than a difference in taste. I don't want to see huge cookouts/affairs in the middle of, say, the 100-mile wilderness. Others might so - have fun and clean up when you're done.

But to slam all trail magic, and those that give of themselves to create it, is ... well, perhaps not entirely thought through.

MOWGLI
03-11-2003, 14:48
Originally posted by Footslogger
In all my years of hiking the AT the only trail magic I've ever experienced was a totally anonymous trash bag full of candy bars handing on a tree branch...



Footslogger, I hear ya, but do you think leaving a bag full of candy bars on a tree branch in the woods is a good thing? Something that should be encouraged? It flies in the face of Leave No Trace, which is what we should be promoting.

http://www.lnt.org/

Bears and other wildlife could just as easily help themselves to those candy bars, make a mess, and associate humans with those kinds of treats. IMO, not a good thing.

Little Bear

MOWGLI
03-11-2003, 14:52
Originally posted by kkshaydvm.concentric
...my son J. Hay (Skirty) went thru Fontana in late March 2000 on his thruhike.


Hey Mama. I spent some time with your Son "Skirty" during my thru-hike in 2000. I thoroughly enjoyed the time that I spent with him. Please tell him "Little Bear" from 2000 says "hey" next time ya talk to him.

Little Bear
GA-ME 2000

rickb
03-11-2003, 15:02
For anyone interested, here is a PDF link to an older issue of "The Register", in which the editor writes of Trail angels and thier impact on the Appalachian Trail experience.

http://www.appalachiantrail.org/about/pubs/register/archive/RGsprg00.pdf

I don't see this as an area where everything is black and white, but rather where there are many shades of gray. A parent of a thru hiker who keeps a few extra oranges in his pack and keen eye out for hikers who might need a ride while he enjoys time out with his family has a different kind of "magic" to offer than someone who stocks a cooler in the woods with sodas. And that kind of "magic" is different than a 40-something guy like me who is eager to relive a time 20 years ago by waiting at a road crossing for the current crop of thru hikers. And different still from the person on the AMC site a few years ago that was looking to find a specific thru hiker to share magic with, because her journal was so darn inspirational. And that is different from finding magic in a connection with a stranger who has just learned what a through hike is, and spontaneously expresses some of thier sharred excitement with a coke.

I am being judgemental, sure. Not of any individual, however. Just of how everything comes together. Like the editor of "The Register", I too think that there is something important about preserving "The Appalachian Trail Experience". That's articulated in the PDF, also.

Rick B

Footslogger
03-11-2003, 15:12
TNJED ...I'm not advocating a practice of hanging huge bags of goodies on tree branches. But again, it's a question of "degree". The bag I had mentioned earlier was a relatively small K-mart shopping bag and from what I saw it got emptied in a matter of 5 mintues by passing hikers. As I recall now, the hiker grabbing the last candybar took the bag and stuffed it in his pocket.

Trail magic, at least to me, is a pleasant surpise but certainly not a key factor in making my hike enjoyable.

Aubrey
03-11-2003, 15:44
Oops, forgot about that one, TNJED! Looks like I'm guilty of my own admonishment - didn't think it through! Gotta agree with you on that one. It is nice to grab a soda and a candy bar - but in the bigger picture you are correct. The good that comes out of that bag doesn't compensate for the potential bad. I also believe in LNT and I have to admit that a bag full of candy is Trace Left Behind.

But otherwise... :D

Still love the trail magic!

Rick, Just read John's editorial. Hmmm.

I disagree with his conclusion eventhough I agree with some of his arguments. As he states, the trail's purpose is to serve as a "...means of sojourning amoung these lands [Appalachians], such that the visitor may experience them by their own unaided efforts." This comes right after he allows that if 20 or 30 people are asked what the AT experience should be, you would get as many disparate answers. That's key.

The mission statement he rests his case upon itself rests upon the word "opportunity." My response is simple. If a hiker believes that trail magic represents an outside influence which would effectively negate an "unaided" hike, then the hiker is under no obligation to accept any.

The one point John raises that does give me pause is his concern about governmental regulation should something befall an attendee at one of these soirees. But this has to placed into context. There is no law stating it is illegal to give food to another. There may be places on the trail where you might need a permit to set up, but in most places, this just isn't so. John fear's a possibility. I submit that fear alone is not a reason to disallow these gatherings. This is interesting as this restriction in itself IS the regulation that John fears - it's just HIS regulation.

It puts me in mind of those that believe in "peace at any price." At some point, it becomes self-evident that the thing you were trying to save/preserve is lost in the desperation to save it.

Hope that wasn't too muddled.

Still, I am not insensitive to his (or your) position. You, John, TNJED, et.al. are correct when you advise that these "gifts" to hikers should be handled carefully. For my own part, I will alter my stance on trail magic to say this:

Trail Magic is all good when it is handled responsibly and accountably by both parties. But even if there are incidents where this is not the case, I still would not favor abolishment.

Maybe I'm an idealist but I just don't want to live in a world where being nice/helpful/generous to others ("tough love" notwithstanding) is necessarily considered a bad idea.

Peaks
03-11-2003, 17:41
That was a good analogy. Suggesting that a fed hiker is a dead thru-hiker.

If you truely want to be an angel, be on hand to offer a ride to and from Newfound Gap. Many people want to get into Gatlinburg, or feel the need to.
If there wasn't a water fountain at the Gap, I would suggest maintaining bottles of water. Often times, a drink of water without chemicals is very refreshing on a hot and humid day.

MOWGLI
03-11-2003, 18:43
Originally posted by Peaks

If you truely want to be an angel, be on hand to offer a ride to and from Newfound Gap. Many people want to get into Gatlinburg, or feel the need to.



My only unsuccessful hitch of the hike was at Newfound Gap. It was cold, rainy & miserable. I would have loved a ride that day.

My night in Icewater Springs Shelter turned out to be a good one though. Until the section hiking attorney decided to wake us all at 6:00 AM with his cell phone to call his wife to remind her to bring the diet cokes when she picked him up that afternoon. Grrrrrrrr

smokymtnsteve
03-12-2003, 08:52
The AT a Wilderness experience??? hardly...the southern highlander people have always offered hospitality to furriners traveling thru the area...

years ago long before the AT existed folks traveled the BACK of BEYONDand would stay at folks farm andmaybe work day or two in ecxhange for staying in the barn (over mtn shelter??) and food...victuals....

git on this wagon son..were a takin this load of wood to town to sell... my great grandfather would tell me these stories when I wuz a child..why he'd tell all the chillen a tale...

he cut and sold stove wood..hobos would come by his farm and stay a while ..my great granny sometimes would have to "feedem first" before you could git any work out of em...theyed stay a while and cut stove wood for my grandfather to sell in town..back then stove wood was a 'big business' my grandfather would give one a ride to town when he went on saturday to sell his stove wood ..feedem and they would help unload...and then they would travel on....with some food and maybe some fixed up shoes (my great grandfather as a lot of mtn folk made and fixed shoes) bet these folks back then loved the TRAIL MAGIC!

Maybe some TRAIL MAGIC is just a ole mtn.family tradition!

git on this here wagon son ..we be aheadin to town!

kkshaydvm.concentric
03-12-2003, 09:10
Hmmm, maybe that's my problem - it's in my upbringing - my mom used to feed the hobos that got off the train at the end of the line 'cause we only lived 4 blocks from the tracks and somehow our house must have been marked 'cause they always found us. Anyhow, when John Muir jumped over the fence, with a loaf of bread up north here and walked to FL, I imagine people must have extended some kindnesses. Anyway, this was my first thread and somehow it got way off topic - I asked what and where, not whether. But I got lots of info, so thanks to all of you fellow trail lovers. I'm totally LNT and will just see what happens when we come down there.

Pirate
03-12-2003, 13:37
I am going to be a Trail Devil this year. Also am planning on being the Satanic Easter Bunny. Beware!!!!:banana

jensine
03-12-2003, 14:09
Hey Pirate,
When did you change from the "Evil Easter Bunny" to the
Satanic "Easter Bunny"? Sure will miss coloring Easter Eggs
with you. Hikers BeWare, I always made sure the eggs were
cooked before I let Pirate dye them. But every once in awhile he
would cleverly sneak a couple of colored raw ones in!!!
Pirate, hope to see ya soon when you're in the neck of these woods.
Jensine

Jack Tarlin
03-13-2003, 16:38
I'm not sure what Rick's problem is.... in my experience, 99% of Trail Angel-ing involving food, drink, etc., takes place at road crossings, trailheads, and parking lots. Occasionally, it happens at a shelter, but usually not.

If someone wants to have a small tailgate party in a trailhead parking lot, if he wants to bring a cooler, hand out fruit, even grill some burgers, how on earth does this interfere with anyone's trip, with anyone's wilderness experience, etc.

And as for thru-hiker's being entirely self-supporting, well that's nonsense, too. Anyone out there ever heard of a hiker that carried 180 days worth of food, and never had to rely on stores, mail, resupply, rides to town, etc? No one is self supporting, at least not for very long.

I agree that taking over a shelter, campsite, or other secluded area, and then throwing a wild party there regardless of the feelings of those who wished to enjoy the spot in tranquility---I agree that this is probably not such a good thing.

But for a former thru-hiker, a future one, or simply a friend of hikers to go out on their day off, park by the side of the trail, and give out treats and encouragement, well, I can't for the life of me see why anyone would object to this.

And to those of you who DO find this offensive, and wish to enjoy the experience of crossing a road or marching thru a parking lot without outside interference or interruption---well, there's a very simple remedy. Smile at the person offering you the soda or the sandwhich, and say, "No, thank you," and continue on your way.

The great thing about Trail Magic is that it isn't forced on anyone. If you think acts of cheer, expressions of fellowship and ecouragement, and simple Christain charity are "piss poor ideas", well you're entitled to your opinion, and you're equally entitled to move it down the trail where you and your opinion can be happy together.

Most folks view "Trail Magic" from strangers as a wonderful thing, and it amazes me that anyone would find this objectionable.

rickb
03-13-2003, 18:49
Jack, you might be surprised to learn that I don't think that acts of cheer, expressions of fellowship and ecouragement, and simple Christain charity are "piss poor ideas".

Rather I think that going to a tralhead expressly to feed a thru hiker is not a very good way to express one's cheer, felowship, encouragement and simple Christian charity. If I did, I would do so myself and encourage others to do likewise.

Perhaps I have missed something, but I have not seen many posts encouraging any of the 7000 so-called 2000-Milers to spread joy by returning to the road crossings to pass out cookies. Why not? By your construct wouldn't more acts of cheer, expressions of fellowship and encouragement, not to mention simple Christian charity be a great thing? Seriously Jack, just as you and others have encouraged hikers to join the ATC, why not encourge them to return to a trailhead with pre-planned magic? Its all good, right? Why haven't I heard that call to action?

I think know the answer. Like I said in my more reasoned follow up, there are shades of gray in this discussion. If I understand correctly, you yourself make a distinction between pre-planned trail magic which take place in the backcountry and that which take place at a road crossing. That encourages me. Seems like we only disagree in degree. I expect that we are both in agreement that has beens and wannabes and RickB shouldn't be waiting at the top of Katahdin with a warm handshake and passing out cigars-- to those who wanted them. I hope we are in agreement, anyway.

Let me also make clear that I don't dismiss the beauty of strangers connecting along the Trail. Its phenominal. Not sure if its true, but I have even heard stories of thru-hikers extending magic to others, including Scouts who may look up to them with some admiration. I'd like to see more of that.

Others have expressed these ideas better than me. Certainly using the term "piss-poor idea" wasn't one of my finer choices of phraeology. But take time to check out that link I posted.

Let me end with a question that is in no way rhetorical. As a person who probably knows the trail better than anyone over the past decade, have you seen pre-planned trail magic change much over the years. Any trends? Are these trend all good?

Rick B

smokymtnsteve
03-13-2003, 19:58
i don't know about just simple Christain charity ...but this ATHEIST today took in some Orange Juice and bananas to Rock Gap shelter in the standing Indian Area...and the Hikers ate and drank it all and seemed very grateful...no force was used nor a threat of hellfire..

two were section hikers they did not take any juice or goodies until the thru hikers had a chance to partake...great guys and gals!

took the section hikers back to thier car at the bottom of Deep gap road...during the ride to deep gap we stopped at the chapel that was used by rufus morgan (old 64 just above Rainbow springs)and cleaned up a big 55 gal bag full of garbage that people had left...just an act of simple atheist charity and TOLERANCE...

and then picked up a thru hiker at winding stair gap and then to Franklin and he seemed thankful too..even said Thank you!!!

RAT>PATROL
03-14-2003, 00:59
I was not going to reply to any of this as I have been thru it all many times before for many yrs since I have been doing trail magic since back when it was unheard of, and the last 13 yrs. having been member and section maintainer with Carolina Mtn. Club, I have seen and heard all sides of this argument. I even displayed "The Registers" editorials on "coddling" thru-hikers at the largest trail magic event there is [Brown Gap], and have gotten input from all of the avg. 70+ hikers per yr.there and I have yet to find one that was anti-trail magic. The majority is all for it.Not saying the minority of you are wrong or have bad ideas, but to me it all boils down to: no one has the right to tell me or stop me from performing random acts of kindness in the form of trail magic. Any hiker that is against this sort of thing has the right to hike on by or turn down the offers. I have met two in my 14 yrs. of doing it. As for your LNT ethics concerning leaving things in the woods, generally this is not a good idea, BUT, generally doesn`t work in every situation.I have left drinks in the springs at places like Jerry Cabin when would be helping Sam out there, bananas hanging from trees, have even left a huge sterofoam cooler at BG once, all because I knew there were many hikers coming soon, never once have I ever seen any of my trash left behind, all was carried out, and the cooler was even carried the 23 miles to hot springs and should still be at Elmers !I have never hung plastic bags full of candy bars but if I did I would have to know they would be consumed within the day, etc, Also you must remember that the A.T. is a well maintenanced trail and trash is promptly carried out at least here it is, so I must disagree with all the LNT points pertaining to trail magic. I for one will continue to "coddle", "de-motivate" and "ruin as many wilderness experiences" as I can while I can. If it is so wrong, then why does the CMC continue to support my feed? They are very conservative and focused on current trail policies? Why? Because it`s what the hikers want as a majority, take a vote anyday , you will be lucky to find one out of a hundred that will turn down a cold drink, or cheeseburger, or rib-eyes in our case, or think that it is bad idea. Sorry for the rambling, i wasnt going to do this!!!Hope everyone has a good yr. hiking their own hikes ! HAIRNT !!!

Ox97GaMe
03-14-2003, 02:09
Trail Angels...... By Ox


As an AT thru hiker, section hiker, day hiker, trail maintainer, ATC life member, and trail angel, I would like to put in my 2 cents worth on this topic.

First... I do agree that there are bad angels out there. I have seen people that pretend to be angels, then will nickle and dime a hiker out of every last cent they have. But that is the exception rather than the rule. And I do agree that having Trail Angel business cards is a bit tacky, but hey... to each their own.


Second... Almost every hiker I have met on the trail comments that it is very encouraging to see that side of the AT trail experience. In today's world, few people will go out of their way to do anything for a total stranger. The general comment that I get from hikers is that they will try to return the 'magic' in some way to people that they meet. Not just on the trail, but off the trail too. They go home and get involved in community service, become better citizens, and carry the torch to make America a little more like what it used to be. America should be a place where we offer a cold drink to a thirsty stranger, or a piece of bread to a man that is hungry, words of encouragement to someone that feels they cannot go on under the burdens they carry. This is not just an AT thing, it is a human thing.

Just like with anything that one does, you can overdue a good thing. Feeding a hiker a huge meal just before he has to do a 3000 ft climb on a hot day may not be a good thing. But giving a cold soda to a hiker that has walked past 3 dry springs may just save his life. Things should be done in moderation.


This is the way I look at Trail Angels......

A hiker cannot carry enough food to replenish the calories that are burned while hiking with a full pack over mountainous terrain. This is sort of like the Hebrews in the desert. God provided Manna from heaven to feed his hungry children. In the same way, God bestows in some of us the desire to help a fellow hiker while they are on their journey.

I think the problem with some people who are anti angels is that they dont want hikers to finish the trail. It gets easier each year, and the more we help hikers, the more will succeed. There was a time when only a handful attempted it, and only a very small percentage finished. Each year the numbers go higher, more start and a higher percent finish. The 2000 miler club is pretty prestigeous, but the more people inducted, the less it means to some. I hope to see the day when we can say that there are 20,000 or 50,000 hikers who have done it. It wont make MY certificate and patch any less valuable to me. I got my patch the hard way.. I earned it through blood, sweat, and tears, by the grace of God, and with the help of some very special angels, both on and off the trail. Nobody hikes the AT alone and unsupported in some way. There are angels all around us every day. Occassionally, we are fortunate enough to actually see them.

Happy Hiking.

Ox-97

MedicineMan
03-14-2003, 03:06
damn those section hikers.

Lone Wolf
03-14-2003, 07:59
Sometimes so-called "trail angels" are elitist Aholes. Last year me and Johnny Reb arrived at the Fontana Dam Hilton and saw a big cookout going on. The head "angel" asked if we were "thru-hikers" and we said no. We weren't offered anything cuz we were ONLY lowly section hikers. Most of those "thru-hikers" chowing down weren't going to make it anyway but I guess they were viewed as "special". Rat Patrol ain't elitist. He feeds EVERBODY. He ain't no ex thru-hiker wanting to "give back". A few years ago I'm at Grafton Notch waiting on a guy that I'm slackpacking. I'm in his van with the side door open and a cooler visible. This broad comes up to me all smiley and asks, " Oh, do you have some magic for me?" I tell her I'm waiting on so and so and there's only beer in the cooler but she was welcome to one. She said, "I was really hoping for a coke." A lot of them expect it. Just like feeding bears.

Peaks
03-14-2003, 08:20
There are many very valid points being made about being an angel or not.

But, there is more than one way to give back to the trail. If you truely want to give back, then get involved with a trail club and contribute to the maintenance. That way, all hikers, day hikers, section hikers, and long distance hikers can benefit from your efforts.

jensine
03-14-2003, 11:45
After reading all the posts regarding Trail Angeling and having heard and experienced many Angel events in the past 18 yrs,
I would like to ask the following question of all Angels, and wannabe Angels. This post is NOT Anti nor Pro Trail Angels.
Do you offer the same hand outs to your local homeless shelters,
battered women shelters and abused children shelters? In my
opinion some of these folks may need a blanket, clothes, orange or cold drink too. This is not in supoosrt of the " System abusers"
but for the truly needy. It's just a thought. As I read some posts
it appears that SOME Angels do it for self gradification rather than
truly "Helping" a hiker.
As for Rat's Fest at Brown's Gap, it is not only for hikers, Rat will let anyone come feed. In fact, ifwe can get up there, we hope to attend, and we will be coming in via vehicle. ( With some goodies).
A true story: 2 years ago, there were 2 Trail Angels at Unicoi Gap in Ga. They were FIGHTNG over who's territory it was to Angel!!!
Go Figure!!!
Jensine

rumbler
03-14-2003, 12:06
I for one will not turn down a hot dog or a cold beer, and would happily hug whoever so provided if they could tolerate my stench.

SGT Rock
03-14-2003, 12:08
I've not ever experienced any of these things. I must not hike at the right time. The closest I ever got was sharing some dried fruit with a day hiker at the FS42 parking lot.

Ox97GaMe
03-14-2003, 18:18
Yes, I do give the same level of support to local organizations. I do volunteer work with children's organizations in Atlanta. I take them hiking, bring them picnics, and take them to the zoo. I pick up hitchhikers, not just at trail crossings, but anywhere in the US.

I havent seen angels arguing about territory, but can imagine that it does happen. Do you get bronze wings for that sort of stuff?? <lol>

Sleepy the Arab
03-14-2003, 18:32
As I read this post on trail angels, I can't help but wonder if this is the same Ox who fed me and my friends sticky buns and fruit at Stecoah Gap one windy April day long ago in '99.

smokymtnsteve
03-14-2003, 20:14
......

Ox97GaMe
03-17-2003, 00:23
Yes, I am the same Ox that feeds hikers at Stecoah Gap. I was there this weekend too. : )

MedicineMan
03-17-2003, 01:44
This is also the same Ox that shuttled me in the Smokies (Fontana to Clingmans)...a true angel you are Ox and an excellent representative of the AT....dont be shy here and welcome to Whiteblaze finally!

Ox97GaMe
03-17-2003, 02:23
Hello Simva. Glad to hear from you. any Smoky Mtn trips scheduled for the summer? if so... you might be able to return the favor. : )

MedicineMan
03-17-2003, 03:08
Last I heard you were done with the 900 miles of trails in the GSMNP????? and that you were possibly headed out to do the PCT???? p.s. we have private messaging here, check yours!

Ox97GaMe
03-17-2003, 18:57
I have 65 miles left in the park. Have not had the opportunity to get to the mountains as much as I wanted to this winter. Will finish the park summer or early fall. PCT is not for this year. (Unless I win the lottery) I am thinking about a summer trip to Colorado, Montana, or Idaho.

Pedestrian
03-18-2003, 11:31
From the very beginning thought of the AT Benton Mac Kaye never intended the trail to be soley a wilderness experience. He wrote of trail towns and tourists industry developed solely for the hikers that would walk the trail.

In my opinion, the single greatest thing about hiking is the people that you encounter on the trail. In the everyday world in which we live, people avoid making eye contact when you meet on the street. We have become a nation of strangers. I myself prefer to go out of my way to befriend as many people as possible. One of the ways I do this by helping people that I meet along the trail. Sometimes itís spontaneous, other times itís through thoroughly planned events.

Never once have I felt that I have violated any LNT rules or diminished anyoneís hike. On the contrary, I have always left an area better than I found it.

My church is planning a feed at Gooch Gap April 12th. Come by and say hi.

MOWGLI
03-18-2003, 11:58
Seems like critisizing Trail Magic in any way shape or form is a bit like criticising our President. Some will agree with you, but you will elicit a virulent reaction from many others.

Having lived in the shadow of the trail for the last 13 years, I have given rides to and from a variety of trailheads to dozens & dozens of hikers. I've stopped off at the Vernon Hostel enroute to Campmor or EMS to see if any thru-hiker needed to tag along for some new footwear or other important gear need. I've even left a strofoam cooler filled with cold sodas, one time, but some nice person shattered the cooler into hundreds of small pieces that same afternoon. That was the last time I left a cooler out.

I guess my primary concern is the LNT issue. The AT is overused in many areas, and unfortunately, it is abused by a small fraction of the millions who hike on it every year. I think that its important that those of us who love & use the trail be sure to set a good model for others to follow.

I agree with the sentiments of Ox & Rick. I have a hard time with the "I don't give a damn what anyone else says or thinks" bunch, but hey, some people have a hard time with me. I guess that's why Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors.

This morning I am drawn to what Gizmo's Dad wrote in the last shelter register in Maine. He wrote something to the effect of "as this magical experience comes to a close, don't forget to go out and do good works in your community". I guess giving back takes many forms. Trail Magic is just one of 'em.

Little Bear
GA-ME 2000

MedicineMan
03-18-2003, 22:56
Must of us admire the trail angel...I know I owe to several in a big way, but if you really want to help the AT then become well aquainted with elected officials who hold big keys to protection,outlays,etc.
We all should volunteer to do trail maintanence but reality is that a lot work full time jobs and an e-mail to your congressman is just one little effort that can pay off for what is dear to us. Purchasing a pick/mattock/axe or can of blazing paint for the club in your area is another. Doing like the Ox and taking a groups of elementary kids/with their teacher on an small introductory hike is even another way....
Maybe someone should post a list of these other ways to help the trail, I bet there are hundreds if not a thousand.
And if any of you are big bucks kinda folk buy land adjacent to the corridor and donate it in perpetuity to the ATC.

Redbeard
03-19-2003, 11:50
I just want to know what physics are necassary to live "in the shadow of the trail":D Sorry, I just get a kick out of words.

MOWGLI
03-19-2003, 17:50
Originally posted by Redbeard
I just want to know what physics are necassary to live "in the shadow of the trail".

You have to move a REAL lot. he he

Colter
04-26-2003, 10:29
Frankly, I am stunned that there have been so many negative comments about Trail Angels.

On my summer on the trail, I ran into trail magic in one form or another a number of times. Every single time I was delighted. Every single time the trail angel was happy to share. Every other hiker that I met was happy with the trail magic. Every entry in registers that I read was thankful to the Trail Angels for their generosity.

Regardless of a few negative comments you might read here, I would be hard pressed to be convinced that trail magic is bad. Most folks seem to think that the people along the AT are one of the best parts of the experience. To condemn generous acts of kindness seems unnecessarily cynical to me.

Is trail magic bad because people will come to expect it? By that line of thinking, no one should give hitchhiking hikers a ride into town. Each time I ran into trail magic, it was an unexpected surprise.

Does trail magic ruin the wilderness experience? The trail magic I ran into was invariably at or very near roads. Since I wasn't in the wilderness, it didn't detract from my wilderness experience.

Are big groups of people chowing down on the trail a negative experience? I ran into that scores of times in shelters. I ran into a trail magic "party" once.

Is preplanned trail magic bad? Is a spontaneous thru-hike better than a planned thru-hike?

Are the most enthusiastic Trail Angels weird? I don't know about that, but I do know that they are free-thinking individuals, just like hikers.

There's a lot of things to complain about in this world. I don't think shared acts of kindess between strangers should be a priority target. There's a reason it's called Trail Magic, and we call those generous folks that provide it Trail Angels.

trailangelmary
07-27-2003, 03:33
All of this discussion is very surprising to me. Of all the hikers I have met coming through Duncannon,PA; there are no negatives heard about trail magic. I have today, however, been reading more negative attitudes in this forum and AZ trail journals than I ever dreamed existed. I am becoming disillusioned about what I have been doing for three seasons. I guess I was wrong to believe that kindnesses are a good thing???? I have not read the books that most hikers have read before doing the trail. I have read "A Walk Across America", however. In that book, the authors success in completing his journey was partially due to the help he had along his route from "local trail angels". I believe the author had many good thoughts about the people he met and vice-versa for a long time afterwards.
I understand that some hikers truly appreciate the trail magic while others are just "panhandling". I also understand that some hikers will always remember me while others will never think of me again. I have learned something from every hiker I have met that I will always carry with me, and I have seen parts of the country, I probably will never see, through their eyes of which I am very thankful. I have made some new acquaintances and some lifelong friends through my trail magic.
I do not regret any of my kindnesses but I will reconsider and think a lot about this before I do more in the future!!
Mary
Duncannon,PA

trailangelmary
07-27-2003, 03:37
Thank you Colter. Very well put!

gravityman
07-28-2003, 12:22
The opinions expressed online are often not what the mass of people that are actually thruhiking express. I did a lot of research online before I started hiking. I wish I hadn't read a thing! There is a lot of bad advice out there.

Just because its a RAGING discussion on whiteblaze doesn't mean that the common thruhiker even considers it. Look at the gun thread. I never even talked about guns the whole time I was out there.

Gravity man

Flash Hand
01-07-2004, 04:13
All of this discussion is very surprising to me. Of all the hikers I have met coming through Duncannon,PA; there are no negatives heard about trail magic. I have today, however, been reading more negative attitudes in this forum and AZ trail journals than I ever dreamed existed. I am becoming disillusioned about what I have been doing for three seasons. I guess I was wrong to believe that kindnesses are a good thing???? I have not read the books that most hikers have read before doing the trail. I have read "A Walk Across America", however. In that book, the authors success in completing his journey was partially due to the help he had along his route from "local trail angels". I believe the author had many good thoughts about the people he met and vice-versa for a long time afterwards.
I understand that some hikers truly appreciate the trail magic while others are just "panhandling". I also understand that some hikers will always remember me while others will never think of me again. I have learned something from every hiker I have met that I will always carry with me, and I have seen parts of the country, I probably will never see, through their eyes of which I am very thankful. I have made some new acquaintances and some lifelong friends through my trail magic.
I do not regret any of my kindnesses but I will reconsider and think a lot about this before I do more in the future!!
Mary
Duncannon,PA




Don't worry about those hikers who disagree or throw negative opinions on trail magic. I will be the newbie thru-hiker this year and I might end up many mistakes, lost, hungry or thristy, and I would hope to see some trail magic. Not just because they provide goodies, they are the citizens of that town, that would give sufficient information of location, stories or history to sweatin, relaxin and resting hikers. Hope to see you there!

Majority of us love Ronald Reagan but Hinckley don't like him. So, don't expect a negative remarks from hikers slow you down.

:clap to trail magic.

squirrel bait
01-07-2004, 07:10
Jeez, what's the big deal? You don't want something from somebody ya don't know, don't take it. I agree with JT, move on down the trail. Whether they do this at home or for who should really be of no business to you. Don't ever make yourself feel better at someone elses expense. IMHO

Flash Hand
01-07-2004, 12:26
Jeez, what's the big deal? You don't want something from somebody ya don't know, don't take it. I agree with JT, move on down the trail. Whether they do this at home or for who should really be of no business to you. Don't ever make yourself feel better at someone elses expense. IMHO

What's the big deal? Can't I make the input to let trail angels like Mary to know that a prospective newbie thru hiker like me, will apprecriate trail angel around. I was talking directly to Mary to share her with my hiking lifestyles and character. I share with other hikers to let other knows of what my opinion is.

And your remark, "you don't want something from somebody ya don't know, don't take it."

This is God's world filled with forumla of choice. You can choose to believe in or not believe in God. You can choose to decline or accept the offer. The Americans are born to learn how to use choice wisely. It seemed that your forumla violate American's current belief. If so, you can enjoy your hike in Cuba. Just be sensitive to other hikers' wishes to choose. And try not to scare others to stay away from strangers. Strangers are designed to be new friends. I am not sure if you are mommy boy that still living with mommy that keep telling you not to open the door to strangers.




Flash Hand :jump

Flash Hand
01-17-2004, 03:37
Hey Squirrel Bait

I havent heard anything from you on my statement about the trail angel. I hope I wasn't too harsh. I just want to point things out. :D

Or did I misunderstood what you are trying to say?

Happy hiking

Flash Hand :jump