There is a lure to ‘The Trail’. One that causes folks who hike, the trail to want to help those who come behind them.
(Sherry outside a shelter in the Smokies. There they have chain link on the front to keep the bear out. they are in the process of removing it.)
Hundreds of hikers volunteer to clean, repair and tend to the 2176 miles of trail. We met a man in the Smokies who was living in a tent for the summer as a Trail Maintenance Supervisor. He had a Masters in Business. Sherry had been hearing something I could not hear. He was working around a shelter where we had stopped to overnight. He told her she was hearing the coyote.
I have mentioned that those who cannot work, become ‘trail angels’ and assist hikers. Each lean-to or shelter, has a journal. Hikers passing thru leave their thoughts, philosophies, notes on conditions of the trail, the closest water and any tidbits they like. Some who are artists have drawn some great pictures in the journals. Journals are very interesting. The only negative, mean statement I ever read in one was in upper Pennsylvania, I remember it well:
“God bless us all and our countries, EXCEPT THE USA, who deserves no blessings at all”. signed by: The flying Frenchman.
As you can imagine there were a few entries about this and it spread thru out the trail very quickly. Of course I added my disdain to his comment.
(Sherry reading a shelter journal at the Watauga Lake Shelter)
There are some special places you remember, One was ‘Mountain Mamas’ Café and Hostel. Located at the North end of the Smokies. She had a ‘trail famous’ cheeseburger and it was GOOD. she has closed down.
There is Mull’s Motel in Hiawassee, GA. Not the best motel around but some great folk. WE forgot our hiking sticks and they held them for us. I needed some white gas for my stove but didn’t want to buy a gallon, the owner filled my stove and my extra tank and would accept nothing.
There are some beautiful and neat spots. In Virginia, the trail goes thru Grayson Highlands. The neat thing here is besides the normal wild life, they have wild Shetland ponies.
When the trail goes close to a NJ Deli a hiker cannot wait to get a breakfast sandwich (NY/NJ). Everything fresh, the bun fresh baked right there. When you leave you must take a home-made cinnamon bun for later. Bakeries are also a treat. One is within 50’ of where the trail crosses a road.
We met ‘Uncle Walt’, a slow but plodding hiker. Knowing he would not make it for his Cinnamon roll, we were there on time and bought 6 day old buns. I stuffed them in the edge of our pack. Going down the trail we met ‘Uncle Walt’, he knew he would not make Worthington Bakery on US206, before it closed, he looked ‘down’, but when Sherry pulled some rolls out, he brightened up. Don’t you just love doing a good deed?
Thanks for coming this way to read….
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.
I had one of these, one tough truck! 1968 Ford Pick/up