Trail magic is an unexpected treat along the trail. Over the weekend while I was on Franconia Ridge, I witnessed a couple of examples of it. One duo of Appalachian Trail through-hikers were surprised on the ridge by a friend who, after stowing their heavy packs at the hut, took the pair down the trail and to a night of hotel luxury and restaurant meal bounty in Lincoln. When I saw them again Sunday, they had a spring in their step and were looking forward to getting back on the trail sustained by a night of comfort.
Books written by AT hikers often speak about finding a six pack of coca cola or a tupperware container of cookies in a shelter or at a road crossing--these little sprinkles of magic help them make it through the difficult miles of deprivation and freeze-dried meals.
Daughter Molly is helping to lead a freshman orientation group from George Washington University on a four day, five night backpacking trip in the White Mountains. Apparently college orientations have come a long way since I was in a room with 400 incoming freshman and an overhead projector presentation on study skills.
Their planned tent site tonight is a mere 5 mile hike from a trailhead, so Sara and I made chocolate chip cookies and are planning to buy ice cream and wrap it up tight with ice and rock salt and head up the trail this afternoon to meet them--I hope I have the right day--Molly left me a voice mail telling me which tentsite they would be at on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc. never actually saying what day of the week Day 1 was--but I'm thinking Day 1 was Sunday putting her at Garfield Tentsite tonight on Day 3--if not, someone else will get a little trail magic.