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Easyhiker
12-28-2002, 18:11
I deleted this message?

Doctari
11-28-2003, 15:39
Kind of a too much of a good thing.

I have met 3 trail angles in 400 miles, each was a surprise, and much apreciated. All 3 were not there to be trail angles, they just were.

One at every road crossing? Thank you but no. :p


Doctari. :dance

bigcat2
11-28-2003, 15:55
I think trail angels at every crossing would be nice, but I also think it would make hikers more lazy. One would expect it at every crossing and if there wasn't any, one could be out of luck. Also, would they even be considered angels if there were everywhere? Just a thought.

Peaks
11-28-2003, 17:19
If there were trail angels at every road crossing, it certainly would be a different type of trail experience. But, I didn't hike the trail to mooch off the generosity of others. So, I'd like to see fewer coolers along the way. Vote me with those that think there is too much of it as is, and certainly too much hoopla made about it.

If someone wants to give back to the trail (which is a good thing), then help with the trail and shelter maintenance so that everyone benefits.

Sand Crab
11-29-2003, 02:40
In large part, the whole purpose of going hiking is to get away from the crowd and to develop a sense of self-reliance as far as I'm concerned.

Blue Jay
12-01-2003, 10:05
Wilderness experience, AHAHAHAHA. You would'nt want to ruin that or turn down any trips to the moon.

Blue Wolf
12-01-2003, 18:33
Hmmm don't know much on this didn't see any on my small 100 mile hike being a newbie & all but for a 1st timer I did do trail maint.

With Bob at the Kincora what an expeirence me with 4 other south bound thru hikers spent the day doing that & you can really appreicate the trail when your done, & I got a nice patch for my pack to show I helped. to me it was an honor to be asked I could have just said no but had a wonderfull time it was all part of the expierence.

Blue Wolf

Pirate
12-10-2003, 12:43
.
Trail angels suck. Stay home.

smokymtnsteve
12-10-2003, 13:06
Trail angels suck. Stay home.


Pirate you sure wanted that ride to fontana I gave you in 2000....

and yes I did spend the $5.00 on gas :)

Colter
12-10-2003, 20:56
For one thing, if I'm on a road, it's not really my idea of wilderness.

Secondly, it seems to be kind of a "leading question," as there will NEVER be Trail Angels at every road crossing. I saw trail angels maybe 5 times during my whole hike, and found some of their goodies maybe 6 more times. Each time it was much appreciated. At least on my hike, the Trail Angel situation was a LONG way from getting out of hand!

Moon Monster
12-10-2003, 21:45
For one thing, if I'm on a road, it's not really my idea of wilderness.

Secondly, it seems to be kind of a "leading question," as there will NEVER be Trail Angels at every road crossing. I saw trail angels maybe 5 times during my whole hike, and found some of their goodies maybe 6 more times. Each time it was much appreciated. At least on my hike, the Trail Angel situation was a LONG way from getting out of hand!


I agree. I saw only four angels on my thru-hike just this year, and two of those were spontaneous encounters unplanned by the angels (they offered things once they heard my story). I came upon maybe 6 or 8 bags and coolers left by unseen angels in 2172 miles. I loved every one of them.

The whole eastern United States is not my idea of wilderness.

Jewels
12-19-2003, 14:47
I run a home day care, the children range in age from 6 months - 12 years old...we play at a local playground where the AT passes right by. We never forget to bring our cooler of pb&j sand, soda, & fresh fruit and on occasion strawberry shortcake! The children at my home have put together a giving box for hiker which contains, emergency toilet paper, bandages, twislers, gum, oatmeal, trailmix (gorp), small candy bars etc. The pleasure they get from giving and helping the hikers is a wonderful sight. If you could only see their faces and hear them squeal "Hikers coming!" as they run to the gate to talk to those who pass by and offer them something they might not have had in months, like a slice of watermelon or a fresh peach. Those that choose not to indulge pass by with a little hello and a smile from a currious child. We have a journal that has been signed by many hikers who have given the children much appreciated thanks for their efforts and giving. We have a trail map that hangs on our wall at home to track a couple lucky hikers throughout the summer months using their online journals. This project I must say has been the most rewarding to all of us here at the day care. We have met many wonderful hikers from all over the world and have heard some great stories. Hike on and we hope to see you in passing! Peace to you from Cheshire Trail Angles and possible thru-hikers in the making.

sloetoe
12-19-2003, 15:24
I run a home day care, the children range in age from 6 months - 12 years old...we play at a local playground where the AT passes right by. ... We have met many wonderful hikers from all over the world and have heard some great stories. Hike on and we hope to see you in passing! Peace to you from Cheshire Trail Angles and possible thru-hikers in the making.

### What a *great* post.

### I answered the poll in the "yes: too many trail angels would ruin it" mode, but let me say that in the summer of '01, when it was brutally hot and dry, my kids (then age 7) and I did a 17 mile day to hit the Long Trail Inn/Sherburne Pass for a well-deserved rest. It was already 1,000*F at 09:00am when we popped over a little rise (before "River Road"?) and found a certain and famous cooler. MAN but was that great. I got/paid for 3 sodas, and between the sugar and the caffiene, the 3 of us were MUCH helped along on that hot day, including the climb up Killington and the pounding descent to LTI (oops, "The Inn at Long Traillllll") almost 10 hours later. So I guess the *real* answer is "No more Trail Angels! Got a soda?")

hypocritoe
LT'01, thanx to a soda from a friend....

Brushy Sage
12-20-2003, 13:29
I met very few trail angels during my 600+ mi AT hike in 2002. I remember with great appreciation the people who were serving hot dogs prepared on site just before Fontana shelter (Hilton). I arrived in late afternoon, exhausted and hungry, sat on the curb and ate five without stopping. So good!

oyvay
12-20-2003, 15:39
I've gotten trail magic from many people, as "little" as a cooler with soda to a BBQ lunch on the AT. I loved all of it, but I'll have to agree with the naysayers I wouldn't want it at EVERY road crossing. Trail magic is magic when you least expect it, when you start expecting it it's no longer a "magic" thing.

Jack Tarlin
12-20-2003, 17:40
I just wanted to add that I was fortunate enough to meet Jewels and her kids at the Trailhead in North Adams, MA., just after coming down Mt. Greylock this past summer. They were a WONDERFUL group of people and I ended up spending the better part of an hour with them.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with roadside/trailhead hiker magic; it interferes with nobody's "wilderness experience" nor does it detract in any way from anyone's hike. The people who are against this sort of thing tend to be grumpy middle-aged folks who hiked eons ago when Trail magic was a relatively rare occurence; this grumpiness seems to be nothing more than jealousy as I doubt very much that these hikers of yore would have turned down treats and surprises had they been offerred them during their own hikes. In short, this debate over the abundance and propriety of offering Trail magic to A.T. hikers is a non-issue: If you don't wish to receive these sorts of surprises and kindnesses, then you simply smile and say "No thank you!" when they're offerred, and you keep hiking. But to deny other folks this sort of thing, and to criticize the lovely people like Jewel and her children who take such pleasure in doing what they do----this, to me, is simple mean-spiritedness. Anyone that thinks that accepting an orange or half a sandwhich from an excited group of kids is a bad thing that degrades the Trail experience----well, all I can say is keep hiking and good riddance. Have a safe, happy, and grumpy trip!

Jaybird
12-20-2003, 23:21
Okay....so, i AM one of those middle-agers that believe a trail angel on every crossing every few miles would RUIN MY EXPERIENCE!

So, does this make me a BAD person.....NO! (and NEVER grumpy!)
Just a middle-age guy who wants a true WILDERNESS experience.

I think Jack is right in saying....it will make hikers lazy because they will come to expect "goodies" from trail angels every few miles, etc. you get the drift.

Hey....if this was the rule instead of the "exception"....we'd need no mail drops or side trips into these trail-towns....wouldnt that be sad!

Jaybird

tarheel
12-21-2003, 01:19
Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus............... uuuuuuuuuhhh ( 60's survivor flashback ) yes, Jack there was Trail Magic on the AT eons ago. I have always felt that a thru hike imparted an incipient NON-grumpiness to my outlook for the rest of my life. People like Bonnie Shipley (dba the legendary IceCream Lady) who made a difference in hikers' lives during what was then the 20 mile roadwalk across the Cumberland Valley were not so well known. I had walked a thousand miles on blisters and a family along Deer Park Lane offered me some water during the pavement pounding and eventually dinner, a hot, soaking bath and breakfast in the morning. I had considered quiting earlier in the same day ( having passed the midway point ) and voila' , deus ex machina on the AT. Surprise does seem to be an essential component of "magic" ( season with some boldness, genius and power according to Goethe ) and so I will not tell you where my family and I have entertained hikers on the trail for the last dozen Easters, but that is how I choose to give back that which was so freely given to me during that magical, mystery tour. And yes, people are a bit jaded by trail magic even by the time they hit NC now days ( dang, they even know it exists by name ). The same is true in large part for the trail itself, to wit, the epic tome that is the hiker's companion which has its origin in the first underground ( not available thru Harper's Ferry ) guide that I wrote back in '79, all 8 pages. Mea culpa ! Guess this is all really just a function of some many more AT alums out there "sharing" with others and the extent to which the trail is so much more defined today. Heck, I think you can pretty much daypack it from "station to station". That' s just the way it is, but the "main(e)" thing for me continues to be: "show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" Hebrews 13:2 the "TarHeel" dba the Omelet Angels.

RagingHampster
12-21-2003, 08:23
Personally I love trail magic.

But I also have a different view of the AT. I look at the AT not just as woods and mountains, but also the small towns along the way, and the people around it. When I look down on a small town and see people buzzing around it's almost like watching a nature show on Ants, and you get a much larger appreciation for how everything comes together. I guess it's my poor-man's version of looking down on the Earth from space. But I enjoy passing through every aspect of the Eastern united states, and the friendlier the better!

Lilred
12-21-2003, 09:50
it will make hikers lazy because they will come to expect "goodies" from trail angels every few miles, etc. you get the drift.

Hey....if this was the rule instead of the "exception"....we'd need no mail drops or side trips into these trail-towns....wouldnt that be sad!

Jaybird

I have to agree with Jaybird. Some hikers are already expecting trail angels and are disappointed if it doesn't happen. For myself, I draw a distinct line between what trail angels do and what true trail magic is. They are not always one and the same. For me, trail magic is something that happens totally unexpectedly, that fulfills an imminent need. Most times not involving food. While trail angels are much appreciated, it is not always a needful situation.

Any thru-hikers out there care to share a trail magic experience that would fall under this definition?

Spirit Walker
12-21-2003, 12:37
[Any thru-hikers out there care to share a trail magic experience that would fall under this definition?[/QUOTE]

On the CDT, as we were heading up a steep snowy pass over loose rocks in Montana, I put my hand down on a pile of rocks to catch my balance when a rock moved under my feet. The pile I touched collapsed. I put my hand down to stop the rocks from hitting my legs and one rock took off the tip of my finger. I yelled for Jim, raised my hands over my head (with blood spraying everywhere) and pressed hard to stop the bleeding. We slowly made our way to the top of the pass where we put my finger back together, bandaged it up and tried to figure out a way out. Luckily, there was a closed dirt road we could follow for about 8 miles that led to a campground in the National Forest. From there it was 25 miles or so to a paved road, and another hundred or so miles to a hospital. As we descended the mountain, the big fear was that the campground would still be closed, and we'd have to walk out to the highway and then get rides to the nearest big town - how many days would that take? The descent was a nightmare in itself, due to ice on the trail/road and the fact that I couldn't use my ice axe, but the worst was the uncertainty of 'what next'. At the bottom of the road, about 5:00 in the evening, we passed through a gate and saw a pickup with a family that was out looking for fishing lakes. They looked at us and stopped. "What's wrong?" they asked. We explained the situation, and they immediately said, "Hop in." They drove us to Hamilton MT, about 150 miles away, waited while I got cleaned, xrayed, and stitched, bought us a burger, then drove us to their town of Salmon Idaho, and gave us a place to stay for the next five days, while we waited to see if the long delay in getting stitched (about 8 hours) would lead to problems. Definitely trail angels.

On the AT, my trail magic was mostly food related, fairly rare, and was always appreciated when it happened. After the trail, we tried to give back some of the magic we had received, with coolers of drinks and fruit and offers of slackpacking, and were told that "we have seen so much trail magic it isn't really all that special any more." (Though the slackpacks were almost always accepted.) So we dropped the drinks and switched to trail maintenance. Probably no more appreciated by the hikers (except when not done) but more satisfying for me.

Jack Tarlin
12-22-2003, 17:28
Jaybird---

Please review my comments.....where on earth did I say I was against Trail magic because it makes hikers lazy and greedy? Granted, there might be a few hikers who adopt this attitude, and feel entitled to special treatment, but happily, there aren't many.

I'm all for trail magic, as long as it's in the right place. Setting up a cooler or even a grill at a Trailhead, road crossing, or a parking lot bothers nobody, at least it shouldn't. Hiking stuff into a pristine wilderness area, setting up camp, and throwing a 3 day party there could very well bother some folks who wanted to enjoy the spot without 45 folks camped out for a weekend waiting to get fed. This sort of disruptive magic is to be avoided.

But this sort of thing is very rare. Most "trail magic" is roadside magic......cold drinks left at a trailhead; a guy in a parking lot giving out treats from the back of his truck. Or maybe it's someone picking up a hitching hiker and helping him get to town, or maybe taking him home for a meal and a clean-up, etc. VERY ltrail magic takes place out in the middle of nowhere, so this sort of stuff really shouldn't bother anyone. And like I said, if you don't wish to take part in this, and don't wish to receive the kindness of strangers, it's simple: You smile, say "No thank you," and you keep hiking. This is a non-issue.

rickb
12-22-2003, 17:48
Perhaps we should start a campaign which will encourage the ever growing list of former through hikers, and readers of AT books and articles, to make special trips to road crossings to hand out sodas and snacks.

No? Why not?

Could it be that there is a world of difference between the wonderfull way Jewels' relationship with the trail and hikers evolved (really cool stuff), or how the Ice Cream Lady's realationship devoloped (her house was in the middle of a 20-mile road walk that existed at the time), or a sponteous connection between strangers each learning a bit of each other, and...

A person like, well, me, sitting at a road crossing with a bag of oranges?

Rick B

Lone Wolf
12-22-2003, 18:04
Ahhh. Bonnie Shipe, purveyor of ice cream and Kool-Aid. Cool lady. Ran into a not so cool ex-thru-hiker a couple of years back at Fontana Dam. He and his wife were grilling up burgers and such and as myself and 2 others approached we were asked if we were "thru-hiking". We said no, just going to Damascus. We weren't offered anything as 8 other hikers were stuffing their faces. What a magical Ahole!

Peaks
12-22-2003, 18:43
Rick,

A much better solution than handing out oranges periodically is to get involved with trail work and maintenance. We all benefit for the countless hours of volunteers.

Allen66
03-15-2004, 15:32
From what I have read trail angels are cool. It's up to each individual whether they wish to accept the kindness of trail angels. I'm sure they aren't forceing it on anyone.


Isn't it also foolish to assume, if another hiker told you there was trail magic/angeling ahead, that it would exist when you arrived?

Colter
03-15-2004, 16:18
Ran into a not so cool ex-thru-hiker a couple of years back at Fontana Dam. He and his wife were grilling up burgers and such and as myself and 2 others approached we were asked if we were "thru-hiking". We said no, just going to Damascus. We weren't offered anything as 8 other hikers were stuffing their faces. What a magical Ahole!

In my opinion, the trail angel you mentioned has a right to decide who receives the burgers and who doesn't. He can give away burgers to everyone, hikers only, thru-hikers only, section hikers only, or keep them all to himself. No one has a right to trail magic, nor does anyone have an obligation to give trail magic.

Along the same line, there are tons of people out there who will give AT hikers a lift into town, but nobody else. That's their right, and it doesn't make them bad people, certainly no worse than someone who offers NO hitchhikers a ride. I don't think it's fair to insult people who "aren't being generous enough."

I think too many people are trying to look past the silver lining to see the cloud.

Skyline
03-15-2004, 17:15
We can all have an opinion on this. The American way.

But it seems those who want to stop ALL trail magic (how they'd actually do that eludes me, and probably them) are of the same mindset as the neo-conservatives who want to ban books, songs, movies, certain words, and, uh, costume malfunctions they don't like. They aren't satisfied to just say No for themselves (change the channel, not buy a book, etc.), they want the rest of America to not have access to these things either.

If ya don't like someone at a road crossing handing out apples, pouring iced tea, or offering a ride into town then for heaven's sake just walk on by! But don't call them evil, or promote their banishment from all things AT. Trail magic and trail angels are a part of the culture of the AT; it's what makes it the AT and not the CDT or the JMT or something else. But ya don't have to partake, and if their mere presence upsets you that much you likely have issues looming that are much larger than trail angels.

Lone Wolf
03-15-2004, 21:51
You're right Colter. But the dude and his wife are still ***n elitist Aholes. :cool:

smokymtnsteve
03-15-2004, 21:56
your right again lone wolf and all these trail angels always have hamburgers and meat ...no respect or consideration for us veggie-tarins.. :sun

Rain Man
03-15-2004, 23:00
your right again lone wolf and all these trail angels always have hamburgers and meat ...no respect or consideration for us veggie-tarins.. :sun

Oooops... and I just gave out root beer and cheesburgers today in the cold rain at Newfound Gap in the GSMNP. Dang me!

LOL

smokymtnsteve
03-15-2004, 23:07
Oooops... and I just gave out root beer and cheesburgers today in the cold rain at Newfound Gap in the GSMNP. Dang me!

LOL

cheeseburgers now that's not Kosher. ;)

but I love root beer..IBC?

RAT
03-25-2004, 02:47
I am not a Trail Angel, but rather a Trail Devil. How about a poll on that?

Blue Jay
03-25-2004, 08:51
I am not a Trail Angel, but rather a Trail Devil. How about a poll on that?

What does a Trail Devil do? Pick up hikers, hitch hiking and take them further away from town? Since angels give people food, do you sneak up at night and replace their chocolate with more mac and cheese? What I would like to do is steal hiker maps and erase the mountains on the profile. Oh wait, someone already did that, was that you?

beckon4
03-25-2004, 20:02
I met only a couple of intentional trail angels on my entire hike in 2002. I just missed many which was a little disappointing, not that I expected them to be there, but when others talked about loading up, you feel left out. I do agree that it tends to make some hikers lazy or at least expect to get stuff all the time just because they chose to hike the trail. I have a problem with that.I very much appreciate the generosity of others but if I come to expect it, that's just not right. Nor should I take advantage of it by taking more than my share.

loonyhiker
03-26-2004, 13:56
Jack,

Thanks for the kind words. My hubby and I hope to thru hike the AT in 5 years but want to do my part until then. I had always thought that by helping a thru hiker if they needed help, was like banking for the future. I really believe what goes around comes around. We've driven hikers to the towns, to doctor's offices, to restaurants, and even offered them some of our camping supplies. We try to be helpful when the opportunity arises, but after some of these posts, I'm afraid that maybe we have been offending people. I hope that if people don't want anything we have to offer that they just say no thanks and aren't offended by us. We wouldn't want to ruin anyone's experience intentionally!

Rain Man
03-28-2004, 23:08
... I love root beer..IBC?

Yeppers, IBC it wuz. Cold too.

Rain Man

.

Krewzer
03-29-2004, 01:09
Nah, I don't think that would be a good thing........but if they've all got a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken they need to part with, well now that's a whole different matter.

Besides, road crossings aren't exactly wilderness experiences anyway.

krewzer

mpholcomb
03-29-2004, 13:24
Sorry, but what is a trail angel?

MDSHiker
03-29-2004, 14:05
Trail magic is awesome...I've taken advantage of it a time or two when I really needed some help.

Woot Woot Jewels !!

Rain Man
03-29-2004, 16:10
Sorry, but what is a trail angel?

A "trail angel" is someone (often a local person) who does a good deed for you. It can be anything, anywhere. Might be a cold drink at a road crossing, or a drive into town, or water at a shelter when you've run out, or taking you home with them for a meal and shower and a bed for the night, or directions when you're lost.

Like beauty, it's often in the eye of the beholder.

Pencil Pusher
06-30-2004, 06:43
I'm not seeing how wilderness is at a road crossing.

The General
07-24-2005, 07:37
Trail Magic is as much a part of Hiking the AT as are White Blazes even Earl Shaffer experienced some on his original hike. But like many others I would not want to see it around every corner though it was a very pleasent experience for me to come across it ocasionally last year on my Thru Hike. And not just the odd soda or tasty morsel from a cooler but people giving you rides or inviting you into their homes to clean and rest up and eat home cooking, The friendliness and generosity of people towards total strangers never ceased to amaze me. I have never seen as such on any hiking I have done in my home country (England) So to all of you who gave freely and sought little or no reward THANK YOU for you are Princes amongst men.

Crazy Larry #1
07-24-2005, 11:10
too much of a good thing is too much.....when we are chanced upon by the trail angel, it is most welcomed at the time.....

Heater
07-24-2005, 11:28
I don't think it should hurt the "wilderness" exeperience any more than the road crossing itself. I mean, it is a road crossing! So what if there is someone there handing out goodies?!!

:confused: :confused: :confused:

Nean
07-25-2005, 00:02
Like Lone Wolf, I don't care for prejudice people, even if it is their right. It's rude and most of the so called thruhikers -never were or will be. Those people are snobs, not angels. Trail maintenance is a great way to give, but it's not the same, and "better" is ones preference. To me, too much magic is like saying too much loving. Got too much? Consider youself lucky and leave it for the next.

The most anti-angel person I ever met happens to be the biggest mooch and suffers from no loving. I don't think it's a coincidence either.

bearbait2k4
07-25-2005, 02:04
It's really easy to say that there could be too much trail magic out there while I'm sitting at a computer screen at home, but I've never thought "gee, I wish this person didn't come out here with all those cold sodas" while I was out hiking.

I don't honestly see why some people get all worked up over this. Really, if you get to a road crossing, and someone wants to give you some trail magic, you don't HAVE to take it. The road itself would be more of a buzzkill to me than someone wanting to be kind to me at the road crossing.

sundog
07-27-2005, 01:19
Although I will agree that a trai angel at every crossing is a bit much, this is a problem I wish we had. If the trail community is so great that we ever have to ask people to stop helping so much, maybe there is hope for us yet.