We just might be the luckiest hikers on the trail, or at least it feels that way. Our cup is overrunning with trail magic at the moment. We got back on the trail a few days ago after the amazing trail magic from the Boshart family in Manchester Center, VT and the week vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC. The trail magic had been a mere trickle since Virginia until the Bosharts in Vermont, and we figured we had used up all our allotted trail magic after the amazing stop last week. So imagine our surprise, happiness and gratefulness that we experienced when an equally amazing piece of trail magic occurred in Hanover, NH.
Yesterday was a 26.2 mile hike into Hanover, and we planned on getting in, quickly getting a meal and groceries, and then hiking out 1.5 miles to the first shelter. It was cloudy to start and turned to rain by lunch time, which was about the time we hit a deli right on the trail. We were glad to take the time for a sandwich, chips and a drink to help us hike the last 10 miles into town. Two other people pulled up in bicycles just after we arrived, and they quickly introduced themselves to us as Doc and Truckin’, two thru-hikers from 2009. It ‘s always great to meet a thru-hiker and equally cool to meet past thru-hikers that are still out and about near the trail.
Within 5 minutes of meeting them, Truckin’ quickly offered for us to stay in her home near Hanover, which then implied a shower, laundry and a dry place to sleep. As Optimist and I looked at eachother and as I looked at the drizzle of rain outside, we quickly took her up on the offer, and we added that we should all go out for Indian food in Hanover that night. Our mantra that day had been “The Jewel of India” to get us through the miles, so we couldn’t pass up what was quite possibly the only opportunity to get Indian food on the trail. We called them as soon as we arrived in Hanover, as they still had 15 miles to bike to town and we had 10 miles to hike, so we met up later, had dinner, went grocery shopping and topped off the night with TV and ice cream. Mixed into all that was lots of trail memories from both them and us, and we woke up the next morning to a full breakfast and coffee. Truckin’ even dried out our shoes.
Needless to say, we were so thankful for the trail magic and had such a wonderful time with Doc and Truckin’, and still so amazed at both the timing of us all being at the deli at the same time and at their generosity with their time, effort and personal space. It reinforced that there are still people you can extend your trust to, even if it’s only the short radius around the trail. When I called my mom to tell her about the trail magic, she said “That’s amazing you can trust people like that to just stay in their home!”, which is true. It’s also very cool that something so simple as a hiking trail that spans from Georgia to Maine could also create such a culture of camaraderie and generosity among hikers and trail aficionados. I just hope that like Doc and Truckin’, Optimist and I can give back to the trail community just the same in the future.