Wreaths and brownies and apples. You never know what magic will be found in the woods!
Trail Magic is any unexpected good thing that happens while you are hiking the Appalachian Trail. Anytime they occur, these gifts add a bit of happy to the day. On difficult, never-ending days, however, these seemingly tiny things can be a HUGE encouragement!
So far, daughter’s favorite gift was from a southbound thru-hiker who thought she “needed” a fern crown as an elf-in-the-woods. A close runner up was a southbound thru-hiker who shared some of the feathers he had found along the way–an excellent start for a new collection on daughter’s hiking staff. MAGIC!
Our first day on the trail, daughter’s water reservoir leaked, making us short of water. Unfortunately, the shelter we were camping beside had no nearby water. (It was .3 steep miles down a rocky side trail, then back up lugging heavy water.) We were exhausted and dreaded the thought of having to haul water to fix dinner. But…a local couple who were camping overnight shared extra water plus invited us to their campfire. MAGIC!
We stayed one night at a bunkhouse along the trail. A number of thru-hikers were camping on the grounds as well. Shared dinner conversation is always energizing. But then the caretakers brought out a pan of brownies, still hot from the oven. MAGIC!
We hiked a longer than expected day to get to a hostel and town-day in Harpers Ferry. It was a grueling day of unrelenting inclines. When we reached the ATC headquarters, one of the workers asked how we were doing. I replied, “I’m dead!” She laughed, and said, “Of course you aren’t dead, you are still on your feet and still managing to joke!” Then when we got to the hostel, there was a note from a friend waiting for us. I decided I wasn’t going to quit this crazy adventure after all. MAGIC!
On a hot day with steep climbs and treacherous descents, we were passed by a zillion day hikers. Oh how we envied their light day-packs (or no packs)! We chatted with a few, telling our story, hearing theirs. One dad and sons gave us a variety of yummy snacks. Another couple gave each of us an apple–a luxury we can’t usually afford weight-wise. MAGIC!
In your day today–look for someone who could use a bit of encouragement and give them a smile or a wee-small giftie. You never know when such little things might be received as MAGIC!
(For more stories of “helpers” on the trail, click HERE.)