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View Full Version : What is the best TRAIL MAGIC you have ever had?



ShelterLeopard
03-27-2011, 00:29
I was wondering, what is the best trail magic you have ever had? What would be the perfect thing to encounter- something that would just make your day perfect? (I'm planning some TM for the summer)

Burgers and beer are a given, but is there any weird standout from previous trail magic that you loved and remember? Like a bowl of fresh fruit, or something you didn't know you were craving until you had it? Chairs?

And anyone who just wants to share their random trail magic stories just for fun, go ahead.

PS- I agree that things like "a dry sleeping spot on a rainy" day are trail magic, but those things don't help me too much.

ShelterLeopard
03-27-2011, 00:31
PPS- I already thought of trailside manicures as a weird add on, but A: I don't feel a serious desire to touch other hikers' feet, and B: Would hikers want that? A foot massage and all, most definitely... As long as I had some intense disinfectant, it might not kill me.

RGB
03-27-2011, 00:51
If you're actually going to be present, a basin to wash laundry in would be nice.

flemdawg1
03-27-2011, 09:04
Found 4 Coors Lights sitting in the Stan Murray shelter, still cool. My trail buddy and I split them. Worked out perfectly due to the spring being dry.

Slo-go'en
03-27-2011, 09:18
Unexpeceted acts of kindness are the best trail magic. These often occur when you need it the most.

Like when I broke a toe fording a stream bare foot in the 100 mile wilderness and was having a hard time walking a few days later. Just as I was wondering how I was going to be able to make it the rest of the way, I found a hiker feed going on at Lower Jo-Mary lake.

Somewhere down in Virginia, a day hiker once asked me if I needed anything from town. When I said "always", he gave me his car keys!

Finding cold drinks in a stream is always nice.

Blissful
03-27-2011, 09:20
Trail angels who offered their home, their dinner table, and slackpacking was a blessing for me. Happened several times on my SOBO hike

modiyooch
03-27-2011, 09:32
a can of deet found in the wilderness in June was providential trail magic.

ShelterLeopard
03-27-2011, 10:35
After reading glen's thread (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=71031) I was thinking that maybe it would be best to do some trail magic in the pre-season, when it's a little more sparse.

I personally didn't experience a bunch of people set up with grills because I started so early, but apparently a lot of people behind me did.

Tenderheart
03-27-2011, 11:07
I came upon a cooler at the top of a mountain in VA somewhere on a very hot day. It was filled with Nehi Grape and boy was it good. I couldn't get my fill for the rest of the hike.

litefoot 2000

topshelf
03-27-2011, 11:13
never accepted trail magic. I carry all my own stuff, don't need someone else to give it to me.

Lilred
03-27-2011, 11:17
I was taking the Kimsey Creek trail back to the campground to meet my husband when I came out at a road crossing and was having a very hard time finding the trail. This was in November when there was hardly anyone on the trail but a few southbounders. Just as I was starting to panic, a guy drove up looking for the trailhead at the Gap. I showed him where it was and he drove me to Rainbow Springs campground (when it was still open) Worked out great!! Now THAT is magic. Not these hiker feeds or coolers left by the trail.

BrianLe
03-27-2011, 12:45
I agree that the very best trail magic is when someone gives you a ride when you need it, and even better when they take care of you personally. Difficult to do that to very many people, however, so if you're looking to put up a sort of trail magic station somewhere in the woods, then ...

I personally have never been a fan of beer as trail magic, but I know that some like it; it's hard to find something that's universally the "best".

Cold drinks, certainly, soda pop (not diet!) and gatorade or the like, and note that the latter are good in that the hiker can carry it away and perhaps leave an equivalent container behind.

Definitely a garbage sack, hikers always like to leave their trash behind, ideally more than just what the trail magic generated.

High caloric junk food with lots of sugar and fat in tempting configurations --- doughnuts, candy bars, etc. Whatever will keep in current conditions and you can buy in bulk on sale.

For the AT, water doesn't really count as trail magic, at least for me it's not something desireable unless in some pretty rare situation.

Fresh fruit is always wonderful. Ditto easy-to-eat vegetables, like carrot sticks and the like. Less of an issue on the AT where resupply is closer together than on other long trails, but always appreciated anywhere.

Definitely visit your t.m. station often enough that it's not "just an empty cooler" for too long. There are few things more demoralizing to have your mouth watering for a cold drink or the like and open up the cooler to find nothing but empty cans and the like.

A few lawn chairs to stretch out on and relax while eating/drinking --- that would be kind of kush.

Cheesy, perhaps, but either in person or written down something about how impressed you are with what they're doing, how excited you are to be following various journals online, etc --- anything like that to make people feel that others care about what they're doing and so they can "feel the love". Great trail magic ultimately is about something beyond the tangible goodies, it leaves the hiker feeling sort of mentally uplifted afterwards.

Perhaps study the trail just north and south of your t.m. site and put up a map and note any special issues or worth while side trips or anything like that in the vicinity if applicable, plus a "you are here" pointer. Certainly not necessary but again, nice.

Site your trail magic such that folks have to walk a ways from a road to get to it or see it (of course). Also don't site it close to anywhere that most people will be going off-trail. The best trail magic is at places where the hiker hasn't been off trail for a while and won't be getting off trail for a while. It's a lot less appealing when you've just got back on trail, scrubbed clean, belly full of town food, food bag heavy in your pack.

Thanks for considering this, Shlep! I meant to do some on the PCT after my trip there but ended up "giving back" in other ways instead. A big hat tip and thank you to all who offer trail magic of whatever form.

Lone Wolf
03-27-2011, 12:50
I agree that the very best trail magic is when someone gives you a ride when you need it, and even better when they take care of you personally. Difficult to do that to very many people, however, so if you're looking to put up a sort of trail magic station somewhere in the woods, then ...

I personally have never been a fan of beer as trail magic, but I know that some like it; it's hard to find something that's universally the "best".

Cold drinks, certainly, soda pop (not diet!) and gatorade or the like, and note that the latter are good in that the hiker can carry it away and perhaps leave an equivalent container behind.

Definitely a garbage sack, hikers always like to leave their trash behind, ideally more than just what the trail magic generated.

High caloric junk food with lots of sugar and fat in tempting configurations --- doughnuts, candy bars, etc. Whatever will keep in current conditions and you can buy in bulk on sale.

For the AT, water doesn't really count as trail magic, at least for me it's not something desireable unless in some pretty rare situation.

Fresh fruit is always wonderful. Ditto easy-to-eat vegetables, like carrot sticks and the like. Less of an issue on the AT where resupply is closer together than on other long trails, but always appreciated anywhere.

Definitely visit your t.m. station often enough that it's not "just an empty cooler" for too long. There are few things more demoralizing to have your mouth watering for a cold drink or the like and open up the cooler to find nothing but empty cans and the like.

A few lawn chairs to stretch out on and relax while eating/drinking --- that would be kind of kush.

Cheesy, perhaps, but either in person or written down something about how impressed you are with what they're doing, how excited you are to be following various journals online, etc --- anything like that to make people feel that others care about what they're doing and so they can "feel the love". Great trail magic ultimately is about something beyond the tangible goodies, it leaves the hiker feeling sort of mentally uplifted afterwards.

Perhaps study the trail just north and south of your t.m. site and put up a map and note any special issues or worth while side trips or anything like that in the vicinity if applicable, plus a "you are here" pointer. Certainly not necessary but again, nice.

Site your trail magic such that folks have to walk a ways from a road to get to it or see it (of course). Also don't site it close to anywhere that most people will be going off-trail. The best trail magic is at places where the hiker hasn't been off trail for a while and won't be getting off trail for a while. It's a lot less appealing when you've just got back on trail, scrubbed clean, belly full of town food, food bag heavy in your pack.

Thanks for considering this, Shlep! I meant to do some on the PCT after my trip there but ended up "giving back" in other ways instead. A big hat tip and thank you to all who offer trail magic of whatever form.
real trail magic isn't planned or set up or left you're just talkin' feeds not needs

Yahtzee
03-27-2011, 13:00
The best trail magic for me is the unexplainable stuff -- the magic. Like leaving a spoon at a shelter and having there be a new one at the next shelter. Or finding a stake on the ground when you are setting up your tent and realize you are missing one. Stuff like that.

But the best human trail magic was provided by George and Murray Ann Zeigenfuss who pulled over near Atkins and drove me the whole way back to Damascus for Trail Days with a stop at one of the prayer services at Hungry Mother State Park. The sunset, the covered dishes which George made sure I had first crack at, the wonderful company. Unexpected and generous. Perfect.

modiyooch
03-27-2011, 13:40
never accepted trail magic. I carry all my own stuff, don't need someone else to give it to me.The ice cream in NH was a nice touch.

sbhikes
03-27-2011, 13:48
Some of the best stuff left trailside that I remember included:

Fresh fruit and soda with caffiene in it.
Soda at the Oregon border with an encouraging message in the trail register.
A cooler full of snicker bars in Oregon! Thanks, Irish!!

Penguin
03-27-2011, 14:57
Just past Mojave River Forks dam, a very nice lady had some lounge chairs and root beer floats for hikers. Best magic ever? Maybe... Oooh first time I got to the Hikers Oasis cache and found 50 gallons of water soda and beer that was awesome magic. Oooh how about in Etna when a local grower handed me an ounce of awesome medicinal grade cannabis. That might have been the best trail magic ever..... Oooh forgot about the Jello No Bake Cheesecake I got on my 30th B-Day at Death Canyon Creek in the southern sierra, after hiking without water for hours. Ok that might be the best magic ever. Too bad Rockstar didn't come up and camp by us. She needed Cheesecake too.

ShelterLeopard
03-27-2011, 17:06
Gadget- great feedback, thanks very much!

Piper- fresh fruit, definitely- I always forget how much I crave fruit when I'm hiking.

Thanks everyone for your feedback! (Feedback on feed...)

BradMT
03-27-2011, 17:20
I never heard the term "Trail Magic" until I came on this forum... but then I really haven't hiked on the AT since I left the East in 1980.

In June 1977 a friend and I flew to Atlanta to hike from Springer Mountain north on our HS summer break. We had to hitch-hike from Atlanta to Amicalola Falls... no small feat for a couple of Connecticut Yankees with long hair. We had beer bottles thrown at us, obscenities hurled. It was a long, hot afternoon trying to get just ONE ride out of Atlanta.

Finally, a mail man pulled up and asked where we were going. We told him. He said "hop in." He explained his work day was done and he needed to go home first, then HE WOULD DRIVE US ALL THE WAY TO AMICALOLA FALLS!

We got to his house, met his wonderful family, and everyone including the dog hopped in the station wagon to make the trek north. We got there late in the evening. They gave us some food and well-wishes.

I don't know what trail magic is, but I do know what the actions of a real Christian man are... and that mailman and his family were it.

I don't remember his name, or even what he and his family looked like, but I remember his actions from that day to this.

Mags
03-27-2011, 19:43
On the AT? Seeing a sunset near Franconia Ridge after many days of rain.

Sodas, food, rides, etc are nice.

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 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.

That's trail magic.

harryfred
03-27-2011, 20:00
Two bottles of water given to me by a couple of day hikers. I was hiking northern PA during a drought and I had just enough water for supper, a good drink before bed,1 cup of coffee in the morning and hopefully enough to make the next reliable spring. That two bottles meant I could wash up a bit have my usual 2 cup cup of coffee in the morning and reach the spring with a couple of sips to spare.

general
03-27-2011, 20:20
in the middle of a wierd yellow blaze, cool hand luke's mom picked me up in the middle of no-where and took me to town. she asked where i wanted to go and i said the post office would be great. got there said thank you very much and went in. came out, she was still in the parking lot and asked if i wanted to have some lunch. said sure, went to a sandwich shop had lunch. went to pay for both our sandwitches and she already had. tried to pay her back and she wouldn't have any of it. she took me to the trail and later that night i found a 20 in the hood of my pack. thank you very much cool hand luke's mom.

niarTthgierF
03-27-2011, 20:21
never accepted trail magic. I carry all my own stuff, don't need someone else to give it to me.


PSsshhh you're cool.


The best trail magic I received was when Tarzan, Sparrow, Mike, Laura and I were doing laundry in Rangely and a woman named Laurie invited us all to stay in her guest cabin right on lake Mooselookmeguntic. AWESOME!

-Freight Train

Speer Carrier
03-27-2011, 20:25
[QUOTE=ShelterLeopard;1135416]I was wondering, what is the best trail magic you have ever had? What would be the perfect thing to encounter- something that would just make your day perfect? (I'm planning some TM for the summer)

Best trail magic I ever had was when Shelter Leopard gave me some extra AquaMira at a wayside in SNP when my filter had crapped out. It got me to the next town where I bought some.

maybe clem
03-27-2011, 22:12
On the PCT in Oregon I spent the night at the Big Lake Youth Camp which has a cabin available for hikers. At breakfast the following morning one of the instructors at the camp just out of nowhere offered me the use of his kayak on the lake for the afternoon. I was the only person on the lake, it was breathtakingly beautiful and serene. I spent hours out there and stayed another night at the Camp. It's one of my best memories from that hike.

Lauriep
03-28-2011, 08:26
This thread got me thinking back to all the trail magic I had back in 1987 on my thru-hike, before the term was even coined. All of those random acts of kindness still leave me in awe, and I can remember them (and especially the food!) in crisp detail. That spirit of giving is a part of why I fell so deeply in love with the A.T.

But the image that sticks with me the most is of a group of volunteers from the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club I met at the end of the day as they were carrying their tools back to their cars. They were all age 60 or 70+, and on my entire hike, I never saw a group of people who looked as tired.

After that, I would think about the invisible volunteers who had worked on the trail before I ever got there. Thinking of them and all the work they had done for me and others they would never meet gave me so much comfort and inspiration, especially when I was lonely. Thru-hikers typically do not meet many volunteers face to face, but the very fact that volunteers do their work often unseen and sometimes without thanks makes their contributions all the more extraordinary.

Crazy Larry #1
03-28-2011, 09:48
I was wondering, what is the best trail magic you have ever had? What would be the perfect thing to encounter- something that would just make your day perfect? (I'm planning some TM for the summer)

Burgers and beer are a given, but is there any weird standout from previous trail magic that you loved and remember? Like a bowl of fresh fruit, or something you didn't know you were craving until you had it? Chairs?

And anyone who just wants to share their random trail magic stories just for fun, go ahead.

PS- I agree that things like "a dry sleeping spot on a rainy" day are trail magic, but those things don't help me too much.One of the best experiences I have ever had was when I came upon a Snickers and a cold can of Coca Cola sitting right in the middle of the trail as I topped a mountain......:)

weary
03-28-2011, 10:16
This thread got me thinking back to all the trail magic I had back in 1987 on my thru-hike, before the term was even coined. All of those random acts of kindness still leave me in awe, and I can remember them (and especially the food!) in crisp detail. That spirit of giving is a part of why I fell so deeply in love with the A.T.

But the image that sticks with me the most is of a group of volunteers from the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club I met at the end of the day as they were carrying their tools back to their cars. They were all age 60 or 70+, and on my entire hike, I never saw a group of people who looked as tired.

After that, I would think about the invisible volunteers who had worked on the trail before I ever got there. Thinking of them and all the work they had done for me and others they would never meet gave me so much comfort and inspiration, especially when I was lonely. Thru-hikers typically do not meet many volunteers face to face, but the very fact that volunteers do their work often unseen and sometimes without thanks makes their contributions all the more extraordinary.
Volunteers created the trail and keep it open. Their work is the only true trail magic. I'm amazed -- and embarrassed -- by the dedication of some trail maintainers. They put my puny efforts to shame.

Newb
03-28-2011, 11:51
An empty road crossing.

Lone Wolf
03-28-2011, 12:00
An empty road crossing.

:D rare these days. the best trail magic (feed) i didn't get was at fontana dam one year. it was for thru-hikers ONLY put on by two former hikers. everybody chowin' down burgers started at springer like me but i was only goin' to damascus. another time was in vermont. some body left a cooler with a note FOR THRU HIKERS ONLY. it was empty with trash strewn all around. i left a nice entry in the elitist's register

Migrating Bird
03-28-2011, 13:04
The best trail magic I had was last year. I was SOBO, staying at Galehead Hut with two NOBO’s. (Alpine and another). The temp was in the low 40’s, rain, sleet, wind, etc. During the night I got up to use the bathroom and must have accidently dropped my hat on the floor. I was the third one up in the morning, just as a "speed hiker" was leaving. I looked for my hat and could not find it, finally I asked Alpine if he saw a grey hat. Alpine said yea, a grey OR pull over, I put it on the table over…… speed hiker guy must have taken it". Alpine said "he had asked speed hiker guy if it was his hat and he said no so I put it on the table". I was bumming because I had to hike up Garfield, Laffeyette and Franconia Ridge with out my hat (although I could make due with my Packa and rain shell if need be). Alpine left about 20 min later and I wished him a great ride north. About 45 min later, in walks Alpine without his pack but with my hat. Alpine ran the guy down (or up as there is a 2500 foot climb northbound). Alpine said it pissed him off that somebody would take someone elses stuff. Alpine went on to say, when he asked him Why he took the hat? speed hiker guy said "because I needed one". Alpine went on to say, that he runs marathons back home and if this guy is at all competitive, he hated to get caught and it will really piss him off when I catch him again and pass him today. I was blown away that Alpine would run up a mountain with a full pack and run down only to run up again. I thanked Alpine profusely as he ran out the door – no photo, address or anything. My hat is my favorite, it is much more than just a hat thanks to Alpine.

Many Walks
03-28-2011, 13:23
We had a lot of TM but a few really stand out. We hitched into one campground a couple of miles from the trail and during the course of the evening we were talking with some other campers. Later one came over and offered to take us back to the trail early the next morning. I'm sure it was earlier than he had planned to get moving, but he saw a way to help someone and it was very much appreciated.


On another occasion we rolled into an RV campground in the SNP just off the trail and since we were the last ones in we got the huge handicapped space, according to their policy. We set up our little tent in the huge space, went to the store for showers and bought some spaghetti and sauce. As we were cooking our meager dinner on our little stove a camper came over and mentioned they were watching us and noticed we were traveling “a little light” compared to everyone else there. They weren't aware of the AT and were fascinated that anyone would even want to walk from GA-ME. After talking a while they said they had way more food than they could eat and asked if we would like to share. Well, yes, thank you! They soon came back with huge steaks, corn on the cob and baked potatoes. It was great, so we went on to thank them profusely and told them about AT trail angels, which was also new to them. It was just another great evening with some very nice folks and everyone was happy with the experience.


In ME we found our planned water source dried up toward the end of a really hot day. When we hit the summit we met a day hiking family who were interested in our thru and gave us oranges and water. We all hiked down to the trail head and they gave us a ride to a nice camp site they knew of a mile or so up the trail. They sure didn't have to help or haul stinky hikers and gear in their SUV, but they did.


There were jugs of water left at trail heads in PA because the sources were dry. Then there was a man and his daughter who carried water up to a shelter every night so the hikers would have some. It goes on and on, but you get the point.


We ran into a lot of coolers and rides (missed the feeds), which were all very much appreciated, but the ones that really stand out are the folks who go out of their way in the spur of the moment to perform an act of kindness. To me those are the best and it's really pretty cool!

sherrill
03-28-2011, 15:45
One of the best experiences I have ever had was when I came upon a Snickers and a cold can of Coca Cola sitting right in the middle of the trail as I topped a mountain......:)

Dangit, I wondered what happened to my snack... :D

slowandlow
03-28-2011, 16:46
My Wife and I were walking down the road in New York to where the guidebook said a hotdog stand might be set up. It turned out to be too early in the year for the stand to be open so we turned around and started walking back up the road to the trail. This was in June and it was hot and we were thirsty.
A car comes flying down the road doing about 60 MPH and passes us, going around the bend and out of sight. A few seconds later the same car comes back in the opposite direction, slows down and pulls over. The guy gets out and says "you guys look thirsty" and hands each of us an icy cold Gatorade.
I found it very kind indeed that someone driving down the road would even notice our presence, much less stop and turn around to give a cold drink to two strangers.
I have never tasted a better drink than that one.

WingedMonkey
03-28-2011, 17:01
My Wife and I were walking down the road in New York to where the guidebook said a hotdog stand might be set up. It turned out to be too early in the year for the stand to be open so we turned around and started walking back up the road to the trail. This was in June and it was hot and we were thirsty.
A car comes flying down the road doing about 60 MPH and passes us, going around the bend and out of sight. A few seconds later the same car comes back in the opposite direction, slows down and pulls over. The guy gets out and says "you guys look thirsty" and hands each of us an icy cold Gatorade.
I found it very kind indeed that someone driving down the road would even notice our presence, much less stop and turn around to give a cold drink to two strangers.
I have never tasted a better drink than that one.

Weren't you afra:bananad of taking a drink from one of them Yankees?

Cookerhiker
03-28-2011, 17:41
NH: leaving Rt. 2 outside Gorham en-route to Katahdin, my longest section hike. Part-way up Mt. Hayes, I've lost a pole tip. Couldn't find it anywhere in the mossy mud. Reach the top. I'm resigned to hiking the rest of the way with one pole. Along comes a thruhiker who found my pole tip in the mud. "This yours?" Wow - talk about a needle in a haystack!

SW Virginia near Bland. Left my car, hitching down the side road to the main N-S road, Rt. 42. Guy picks me up. At intersection, he's going left on the way to work so he should drop me off because I'm going right. Instead, he takes me down to my start at the Rt. 42 AT crossing, about 40 miles round trip out of his way.

Trail Bug
03-28-2011, 18:04
never accepted trail magic. I carry all my own stuff, don't need someone else to give it to me. Don't think of it as trail magic. It was an act of kindness by a stranger.

slowandlow
03-28-2011, 18:11
Weren't you afra:bananad of taking a drink from one of them Yankees?

The bottles were sealed, so I was able to overcome my apprehension.:)

Many Walks
03-28-2011, 20:06
My Wife and I were walking down the road in New York to where the guidebook said a hotdog stand might be set up. It turned out to be too early in the year for the stand to be open so we turned around and started walking back up the road to the trail. This was in June and it was hot and we were thirsty.
A car comes flying down the road doing about 60 MPH and passes us, going around the bend and out of sight. A few seconds later the same car comes back in the opposite direction, slows down and pulls over. The guy gets out and says "you guys look thirsty" and hands each of us an icy cold Gatorade.
I found it very kind indeed that someone driving down the road would even notice our presence, much less stop and turn around to give a cold drink to two strangers.
I have never tasted a better drink than that one.
I bet that was right after the New York train stop. We were looking forward to the hot dogs all day talking about what we'd have on them and how many we'd eat. When the stand wasn't there it was a huge letdown. Someone told us she was on vacation for a week. Bummer! We hit the trail, found some shade and had a snack talking about how good the dogs would have been.


That was a hot stretch and I bet those Gatorade's were great after no dogs.

CrumbSnatcher
03-28-2011, 20:49
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runfifty
03-28-2011, 22:04
My best trail magic happened 17 miles into a very hot day in lower Virginia. I entered a parking area and saw a hand lettered sign that said "Free burger and massage". A professional masseuse had her table set up and gave me a 30 minute massage while her son cooked me burgers to go with the homemade cookies, fresh strawberries and soda. That was a good day!!
Actually, I think you (Shelter Leopard) just missed this one. You stayed that night with me at Hurricane Ridge shelter and said you found the sodas they left in the creek after they packed up their table and grill. Don't know if you remember me but my trail name was Big Sky.

BrianLe
03-29-2011, 01:22
"About 45 min later, in walks Alpine without his pack but with my hat. Alpine ran the guy down (or up as there is a 2500 foot climb northbound)."

I hiked briefly with Alpine last year in Vermont/New Hampshire; strong hiker indeed, and if he's the guy I'm thinking of he had a schedule of some sort. Finished at Katahdin, rented a car, next I saw him he was sitting by the trail somewhere in Maine with a big box of doughnuts. Pretty amazing getting trail magic from a current-year thru-hiker; he was tooling around for a short time or something like that before going home I think.

Nice guy indeed. I have a somewhat fuzzy picture of him on my trail journal at Glenncliff (http://postholer.com/journal/viewJournal.php?sid=9afd31bf9d35fd963c7261e194c4cf 37&entry_id=16490).

ShelterLeopard
03-29-2011, 09:37
[QUOTE=ShelterLeopard;1135416]I was wondering, what is the best trail magic you have ever had? What would be the perfect thing to encounter- something that would just make your day perfect? (I'm planning some TM for the summer)

Best trail magic I ever had was when Shelter Leopard gave me some extra AquaMira at a wayside in SNP when my filter had crapped out. It got me to the next town where I bought some.

Ha! I completely forgot about that!


My best trail magic happened 17 miles into a very hot day in lower Virginia. I entered a parking area and saw a hand lettered sign that said "Free burger and massage". A professional masseuse had her table set up and gave me a 30 minute massage while her son cooked me burgers to go with the homemade cookies, fresh strawberries and soda. That was a good day!!
Actually, I think you (Shelter Leopard) just missed this one. You stayed that night with me at Hurricane Ridge shelter and said you found the sodas they left in the creek after they packed up their table and grill. Don't know if you remember me but my trail name was Big Sky.

Now this one I remember!!! I remember coming upon those cold sodas under the bridge and being so happy to have an ice cold drink. Then walking up to the shelter and meeting B Sky up there- said how great the soda was and YOU described that whole scene!!! I wouldn't have forgiven you if you hadn't shared the cookies you brought with ya. :D (I was perfectly happy with the cold coke- I just wasn't sure whether or not I was delusional when I heard the words "massage table"!)

RITBlake
03-29-2011, 10:19
never accepted trail magic. I carry all my own stuff, don't need someone else to give it to me.

You sound like fun

Memphis Tim
03-29-2011, 19:45
When all is set and done the best reason I can give anyone to thru-hike is the opportunity to experience the innate human tendency for generosity in its purest form. I can't even begin to list all the acts of kindness that were directed toward me. From rides to meals to coolers to water caches to strangers who put me up in their homes, I will be eternally grateful. That said said the first thing that popped into my head was the hot June day I struggled to the top of a peak in New York and a girl in a bikini handed me a shot of Jager.

takethisbread
03-29-2011, 20:05
I ran into a couple near Daleville last year, who took me to their home, let me take a shower, gave me some good homemade food, and left me off at the trail the next day.

There was a time in their house when I was pretty sure they were going to keep me locked in their basement and use me as an inflatable sex toy for the next 20 years, and being as tired and hungry as I was I didn't care much, I suppose.

I'll never forget their kindness.

Big Oz
03-29-2011, 23:32
all this sounds great. best trail majic i ever had was in 2009 when I was freezing cold, hungry and wet. Here comes an old yellow school bus rolling into winding stair gap with the heater on and going to Franklin. :D

Memphis Tim
03-31-2011, 15:53
all this sounds great. best trail majic i ever had was in 2009 when I was freezing cold, hungry and wet. Here comes an old yellow school bus rolling into winding stair gap with the heater on and going to Franklin. :D
Piloted by the amazing Ron Haven?

Bare Bear
03-31-2011, 16:16
Too many to count all of them but a one of my favorites:
Catawba VA at a road crossing, Scott & Mandy took five of us to their home where we had showers, laundry, grill cook out, cold drinks.....still in touch since 06'.

HeartFire
03-31-2011, 19:56
Fullhart knob shelter. I was out of water, and there was no water to be found, 2 local guys came up for a night hike and to have dinner at the shelter, they broke out some wine and cheese as well as 3 lt of ice water! (and shared)

Pony
03-31-2011, 20:10
Fullhart knob shelter. I was out of water, and there was no water to be found, 2 local guys came up for a night hike and to have dinner at the shelter, they broke out some wine and cheese as well as 3 lt of ice water! (and shared)

A lot of people aren't sure how to use the cistern. Are you sure there was no water?

When I stayed there a guy on a motorcycle rode up and talked to me for a while, then gave me his phone number in case I needed anything. Later that night a party ensued. Fun night.

Press
03-31-2011, 22:23
Out of water and thirsty, found a University of Delaware nalgene full of water in the middle of the trail here in VA a few years ago. I drank the aqua and still have the nalgene.

RITBlake
04-01-2011, 08:47
We were out of water at the end of a scorching hot day in New York. We planned on filling up at the Palisades Parkway rest stop but it closed just minutes before we arrived. We were discussing our options when a woman, soccer mom type, asked us if were thirsty to which we of course replied yes! She was on her way back from Sams Club and had several cases of bottled water and gave us enough to do a full fill up!

Mr. BuffaloMan
04-01-2011, 09:53
The best TM I ever had was on a hot day after a week of rain. We had been hearing about a Campground swimming pool coming up for a couple of days. When we got there we found out it was only open on weekends and today was Wednesday. The group of us was bummed, but we decided to eat our lunch and move on. As we were eating, a caretaker came by and asked if we would like to take showers and we all said, "Yes." of course. She then asked if we wanted to swim and right away openned up the pool and the snack bar and ended up cooking "all of the hotdogs". We showered, swam, and ate all the icecream and hotdogs we could stand. It was the best trail magic ever.

Digger'02
04-01-2011, 11:31
Nursed back to health at a campground in maryland. in a hammok for three days with strep. didn't catch the hosts name untill day three, after the delirum broke.

AndyB
04-08-2011, 13:12
we got picked up in Erwin ( i think) and taken back to a fancy guest house, cleaned up and fed easter dinner. Incredible folks, their daughter is blind and she had just read about the blind guy who tru hiked a few years before and was full of questions..Ham, corn, biscuits.......

Datto
04-08-2011, 16:10
A hooker greeted me on the AT at the entrance to Harriman State Park. I think she was part of the New York Welcome Wagon.

She went off with guy in a pickup truck after I'd duhmly asked her, "What are you doing?" She told me, "Just trying to make a little extra money." Then gave me the New York smile.

Two guys in a car pulled up next to me right after that and wanted to know if I was a thru-hiker. She went off finding customers while I answered the usual Thru-hiker 20 Questions from the guys in the car -- the guys were from Manhattan and had just found out about the Appalachian Trail. The guys wanted to know if they could hike with me and I told them, "Sure" and they scrambled out of their car.

That's when I saw the hooker getting nto the pickup truck with her new customer. I took the boys from Manhattan down a mile the road into Harriman and answered all their questions. They wanted to hike the AT if they could convince their wives.

Datto

Datto
04-08-2011, 16:13
I think the hooker may have said she wanted to Do The AT also but I don't think it was in the same context as the guys from Manhattan.

Datto

88BlueGT
04-08-2011, 16:45
When all is set and done the best reason I can give anyone to thru-hike is the opportunity to experience the innate human tendency for generosity in its purest form. I can't even begin to list all the acts of kindness that were directed toward me. From rides to meals to coolers to water caches to strangers who put me up in their homes, I will be eternally grateful. That said said the first thing that popped into my head was the hot June day I struggled to the top of a peak in New York and a girl in a bikini handed me a shot of Jager.

NOW THATS REAL MAGIC! Keep your bottled water and cookies, I want the liquor and the girl in the bikini! :banana

hikemikehike
04-08-2011, 19:33
lost my wallet. was waiting for me in the mail when i got home

Phreak
04-08-2011, 20:49
Mine was on the JMT in 2008. Me and Doodah Man were each given a vacumm-sealed marinated steak by two guys camping near us at Thousand Island Lake.

Bare Bear
04-09-2011, 12:06
Second favorite was getting a 70 mile ride (to outfitters for desparately needed shoes) from a cop in an unmarked car right after he told me it was illegal to hitch in NY! After waiting for me at the outfitters he then asked if I wanted to do wash, grab lunch, etc. or just get back to the trail? I took the ride back to the AT and forgot to get the guys name for my journal but obviously a hikers friend.

d.o.c
04-09-2011, 12:17
sunny 02 thru hiker from hot springs filld my pack with food from there i went to maine.. it was never a pland hike but with out that 20$ she gave me i would have gone home to daleville from hot springs... so i am forever grateful of her thnks sunny