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  1. #1

    Default What's The Best Trail Magic You've Experienced?

    Greetings All -

    I've been a lurker for a while and thought I'd post a question I've wondered about but not specifically addressed yet. Please pardon me if it has.

    What is the best Trail Magic you've PERSONALLY experienced? Where were you and what made it so special?

    Thanks in advance.
    Best Regards,
    Happy Hiking,
    turtlex
    Not All Who Wander Are Lost.

    ... No Day But Today ...

    ... The Man In Black Fled Across The Desert And The Gunslinger Followed.

  2. #2

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    Was on a southbound hike in Oct/Nov `91 after spending a zero degree night on Chehoa we were met by hiker/helper(stalker?) "NightStalker" who offered to slackpack us for the rest of our journey to Rainbow Springs. we stayed at the hostel in Wesser then he took our gear and we slacked to the next place where he met us and took us to his home where we ate big, slept warm then put us back on the trail the next morning where we went all the way to our destination. It never got above 18 degrees those days so it was some very welcome magic . Other than that it would have to be the time when a very nice couple gave us a ride from Gatlinburg back to Newfound Gap. God Bless the trail angels.

    RAT

  3. #3

    Thumbs up Lobster ay Abol Bridge

    And this was 'real' magic, spontaneous kindness from a family camping nearby.

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/...&imageuser=314
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  4. #4
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    I'd call it more a "Random Act of Kindness" ...but for me it was up in New Jersey. It all started in back in NC actually. I was on Rocky Top taking a break and met a family who was on vacation. Had a great conversation with them. Wished them well and was about to hike off when the man reached out and handed me a business card. He said that he was the mainainter of the first section of the trail in NJ. Anyway, he said that he knew it would be a while until I reached that part of the trail but suggested that I call him when I got there. Months later, when I got to the Mohican Center I was fumbling through my journal and the business card dropped out. The next day I hit the highway (?? route #) where the Worthington Bakery is/was. The building next to the Bakery was a cocktail lounge ...and I was thirsty. Walked in and found several hikers knocking down some beer and joined in. Decided to call the number on the card. He (Steve) not only remembered me but he insisted that I wait right there and he would come and pick me up. I naturally asked if some other hikers could come along and he said sure.

    Long story short ...about 30 mintues later Steve showed up and 4 of us loaded into his car and off we went to his lake house. His whole family was there and they were great. Let us use their canoes/kayaks to paddle in the lake and then fed us an absolutely out of this world salmon dinner.

    This is getting long but I think I got the gist of the story across. Needless to say that is one day in the life of this thru hiker that will never be forgotten !! Pretty sure the other hikers who joined us would agree ...

    'Slogger
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  5. #5
    AKA - Yahtzee mnof1000v's Avatar
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    Smile Names omitted to protect the kind souls...

    I had one heck of string of magic when I arrived in Waynesboro, VA hobbled by a bad foot. I thought I'd hang out in the YMCA camping area for a few days to heal up before hitting the trail again. On my second day in town, I was greeted by a hiker I had met earlier in the trail. She had a friend in town who hooked me up with a place to stay. (Her friend's wife was an excellent cook who kept me fat and happy...) She also had doctor friend who owed her a favor. That favor turned out to be an examination of my foot, which turned out to be infected. After a couple days, knowing I'd have to leave the trail to heal, I was busy finding a way back home. During that time, my friend with the connections hit the trail and ran into another section hiker who was headed back to Massachusetts later that day. The section hiker gave me a ride home.

    (Coincidentally, my well-connected friend helped me find a ride to Trail Days, and back to the trail thereafter as well...)

  6. #6
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Default Use of Car

    Well, since you said personally:
    Friends and I were eating in a restaurant and discussing wanting to take a side trip the next day to a destination about 50 miles from where we were backpacking. A few minutes later, a man and his family stopped at our table, appologized for listening in to our conversation, then offered us the use of his pick-up. Said his family would be away, but they would leave the keys under the mat, asked us only to bring it back, and leave some fuel in it so he could get to work on Monday morning. Make a long story short - we used it, had a great day, and left his truck at his house full of gas. This was in 1980 while hiking with Hikanation in Kansas.

    Last summer, Thru hikers I was hiking with had a very similar experience when they were given the use of an Olds 98 with leather interior to use for a trip to Gettysburg. They were trying to hitch a ride there from Pine Grove Furnace State Park. A woman on a bicycle stopped, told them to wait there, and returned with the car.

    People are AMAZING!!!!!


    Lyle

  7. #7

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    I've been very lucky with trail magic. True trail magic is spontaneous, unexpected and fills a real need. Best ones were on the CDT: I was injured and we had a long walk out to a dirt road where we ran into a family out looking for a lake to go fishing. They took one look at our faces and immediately offered help. They drove us to a hospital 150 miles away, waited for me to be x-rayed and stitched, bought us dinner, then took us home with them. He was a church pastor, and they were building a new sanctuary with volunteer help. We stayed there for six days, sleeping in the Sunday school classroom, while I healed. Jim helped build the church, I just ate and rested.

    Another time we were out of water, it was after 5:00 and it was four miles to the next possible (but not certain) water source. A BLM ranger drove up to us, gave us a gallon of water and some fresh blueberries she had bought at the store. They were delicious! It made such a difference in my attitude, getting help right when I needed it.

    Over the years we've gotten trail magic in the form of food, hospitality, water and rides from many unexpected sources, all very welcome. We've met a lot of really good people who shared food and drink with us, and it was always welcome, but it didn't come near the blessing level of those people who showed up when we really needed help. We've tried to give trail magic - coolers of sodas and beer and fruit, slackpacking, even occasional hospitality. Most of the time it wasn't really appreciated, because the hikers all had run into so much of the same kind of trail magic. But at least once, we've been in the right place at the right time and were able to provide some real assistance to someone who needed it -- and that did a lot more good than all the coolers of drinks.

  8. #8

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    Ironically the best "trail magic" I received was on the CDT also. Once, the six of us walked into Rawlins, WY when I ask a of couple old timers sitting on a bench where the best place to get a good burger and beer was. They pointed us to a bar not far away and we walked in, dropped our packs and ordered a beer. A guy sitting on the corner stool asked what we were up to. "Walking from Mexico to Canada on the CDT!" "CDT? Get them all a beer on me!"

    A few minutes later he offered to take us all to dinner and a place to stay for the night. After that he brought us to the grocery store to resupply and bought food for breakfast the following morning, and the next before we left back for the trail, and a cookout in the afternoon.

    We had other instances of TM, water and maps in the desert also by a BLM employee, places to stay, rides to and from the trail....

  9. #9

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    1990 was sitting on the wall at Newfound Gap when a retired magian from Wisconsin saw me rolling a cig and ask me if I would like a real cig. I said yes. He ask me if I was hiking the whole trail. I said yes. He handed me a carton of Kool cigs and told me to keep it. Then he ask me if I liked whiskey. I said yes. He poured me a FULL tumbler of Jack with ice and toasted my trip. His wife made me a sandwich and we talked about the trail while he kept filling my glass. When it was time to go he wished me luck and pushed a full bottle of Jack into my pack and waved goodbye. I litterally staggered up to Icewater Shelter where my thru hiking buddies were out of cigs. We ate supper and drank Jack and smoked cigs and totally enjoyed the sunset!.
    geek

  10. #10

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    4 days later, leaving Davenport Gap and out of food. I decided to hitch to Hot Springs to get my food drop from the Post Office. I told Mule that I would be back with food ASAP and meet him at the next shelter. I began to hitch on the interstate. The second car to pass me slammed on its breaks and litterally slid to a stop on the side of the road. I figured that I was getting robbed!. The driver popped out and yelled "Jim"---it was the magician. His wife made me another sandwich and gave me a soda. He handed me another "new" bottle of Jack from under the seat and then gave me the pack of cigs out of his shirt pocket. They rode me to the P.O. in Hot Springs, got my food, rode me back to Davenport Gap and put me back on the trail with another bottle and carton. I walked into the shelter a couple of hours after Mule and he thought that I couldn't get a ride---till I threw a pack of Kools to him and handed him the Jack!. Neither of us could believe that lightening had struck twice.
    I stayed in touch with them for a years after my hike and I always got a Christmas card from them. He passed away in 1997----I hope HE is hiking now.

    geek

  11. #11

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    2002
    Walked out of the woods onto Rt 30 @ Caladonia and put my thumb out for a ride----yes, still needed cigarettes! A van stopped with two guys (contractors) on they're way home from work. They ask me where I was going and I told them I didn't know, I needed a MAC machine and cigarettes. They handed me a cold beer and turned around and headed back the direction that they were coming from. About 10 minutes later we were at a Sheetz convinience store. I told them thanks. They said that they would wait for me and ride me back to the trail. The driver then handed me a fifty dollar bill and asked me to get him 2 packs of Marlboros. I told him that I would buy them for him and he said NO! He stated that I needed my money for the hike and that he always wanted to hike the trail but will never be able to do so because of work.
    I used the MAC, bought my cigs and then his. I got back into the van and the passenger handed me another cold beer and we headed back to the trail. I handed the driver his cigs and change and he just smiled and told me that he didn't smoke--"put the cigs and the change in MY pack". I told him that I couldn't accept that and he then said " then get out!" He WAS smiling and stated that he made that much money the first 2 hours today, take it and write him when I finished. He retired last year and thinks that he is too old to hike but still rides hikers to Sheetz!

    geek

  12. #12
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    Carol Moore, aka Lagunatic, performed countless acts of random kindness for the class of '90. Too many to recount... rides, beers, phone calls made on my behalf... I'm so happy to have the memories of her selfless, cheerful support on so many occasions. And I was just one of many.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by terrapin_too View Post
    Carol Moore, aka Lagunatic, performed countless acts of random kindness for the class of '90. Too many to recount... rides, beers, phone calls made on my behalf... I'm so happy to have the memories of her selfless, cheerful support on so many occasions. And I was just one of many.
    Yes, yes! Kudos to Carol! She was there so often that she was more like family than magic.
    THANK YOU CAROL!!!!!
    geek

  14. #14

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    hey geek, do you need a hiking partner? nevermind I'm trying to quit!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    hey geek, do you need a hiking partner? nevermind I'm trying to quit!
    Sorry Sly, I quit in April of 2005 but I smoked a pack a day the whole way on both of my thrus.

    geek

  16. #16

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    Although I never met her, Lagunatic, reminds me of Dizzy B.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Adams View Post
    Sorry Sly, I quit in April of 2005 but I smoked a pack a day the whole way on both of my thrus.
    Hahaha. I had gone cold turkey for a year prior to April '90. Three weeks on the trail and I was back into it. Didn't help that smokes were dirt cheap down south, or that Wingfoot smoked like a chimney. Everyone needs a vice, and cigs don't weigh much.

    Nowadays I smoke one or two hand-rolled (terbakky) cigarettes a day. A pack of Drum keeps me for a couple of weeks -- on or off the trail.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by terrapin_too View Post
    Hahaha. I had gone cold turkey for a year prior to April '90. Three weeks on the trail and I was back into it. Didn't help that smokes were dirt cheap down south, or that Wingfoot smoked like a chimney. Everyone needs a vice, and cigs don't weigh much.

    Nowadays I smoke one or two hand-rolled (terbakky) cigarettes a day. A pack of Drum keeps me for a couple of weeks -- on or off the trail.
    T-Too,
    I haven't been on a long hike since I quit. I LOVED smoking while hiking! I hope that I don't start back this year.
    I used to love hearing all of the weekend warriors in the Whites bitch about me smoking and then the next day clean their clocks climbing the mountain. I used to sit at the top waiting for them to show up wheezing and half dead. They would ask me how I could climb so fast and smoke. I would tell them that I wouldn't let myself have a cig until I got to the top! The thought of them sitting at a desk all week and me walking 1500 miles to get there never crossed their mind.

    geek

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Adams View Post
    T-Too,
    I haven't been on a long hike since I quit. I LOVED smoking while hiking! I hope that I don't start back this year.
    Cigarettes last longer at 12,000'

  20. #20
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    So much Trail Magic happened to me that it was truly freaky. I mean absolutely every time I had a real problem, someone showed up to help me out. I took the name Five-Leafed Clover because I found one as I was putting on my hiking shoes about a week before I left for Maine. I was sort of joking about being Lucky, and having The Luck of the Clover, but so many just plain freaky-lucky things happened that it stopped seeming like a joke.

    People can be amazingly nice, and generous.

    Marta/Five-Leafed Clover
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

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