Trail Magic

Today, Christian made it to Hawk Mountain Shelter according to his SPOT check-in. One of our new friends on Facebook, Sam Condor shared with me that the trek would have been roughly eight miles from yesterday’s camp. I don’t know what kind of shape you are in, but hiking uneven terrain with roughly 45 pounds strapped to one’s back would be quite a challenge for most. Impressive.

I am really enjoying hearing from all of you! Through his blog and our Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Appalachian-Voyage/339413656102651) I have had the fortune of corresponding with other hikers currently on the trail, former hikers who conquered the trek and those who decided they had “found what they were looking for” without completing the trail. Their trips were not 2,200 miles but, they reached their own destinations. For these hikers,regardless of how far they hiked, the journey is what they cherish most.

I have chatted with strangers who heard about our story through the newspaper article and want to cheer my husband on. And, of course I have talked with many friends. Last night, two former high school chums I have not seen in nearly 20 years offered their homes and hospitality for my husband when he is close to their towns. This morning another amazing friend notified me that she has already sent a care package ahead for Christian to enjoy. Your encouragement, guidance, and support have been immeasurable. We cannot thank you enough.

As we researched this voyage over the past six months, I repeatedly heard about the phenomenon known as “Trail Magic”. Thru-hikers, (those attempting to hike the trail end-to-end in its entirety) like Christian are often blessed by the generosity of others. Those who spread Trail Magic ask for nothing in return and often do their best work anonymously. Hikers may come to a point where someone has left snacks and cold drinks for them just at the moment when they are hungry and growing tired of peanut butter.

Some hikers may be offered a ride to the nearest town when their legs are like Jello and they do not think they can bear to move another step.

We once read an account of Trail Magic where a former thru-hiker took a week off of work and consistently provided hot meals for each and every person who crossed his path. He became a short order cook for the benefit of others and asked nothing in return. He even created a make-shift swap meet for people to take what they needed or leave something for others as they continued on their way. Everything was free of charge.

Every time I have the privilege of interacting with you, I feel as if I have been given honorary Trail Magic. I am not hiking the trail with my husband but your kindness has given me solace, made me much more informed, and most importantly, honors my amazing husband. I can only promise that I will pay it forward. “Thank You” is too small a phrase but, it still needs to be said. THANK YOU!

Special thanks to Bob “Footprints” Crawford. I will carry you and your wife’s words with me and I am sure my husband will once he hears them. They are indeed words to live by on and off the trail: “Be safe, enjoy the journey. I can feel your excitement. I will share my wife’s advice before my first 100 mile section hike…be sure to look from where you came, the view will be different. Enjoy”.

Today’s donation total rose to $1,835. We still need $3,165. Thank you to those who have supported us. Please mail donations to: Christian Torp, P.O. Box 861, Lexington, Ky. 40588.

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2 Responses to Trail Magic

  1. John says:

    MR Torp, My name is John Lowery and I am writting you to let you know that you bring hope to not only me but for my son Kevin Lowery. I would first like to tell you how taken I was with your recovery and what you are doing. I say this thinking that my son and I face a very similar situtation. My son Kevin Lowery actually completed the trail in October of 2000, and as his dad I hiked the last thirty miles with him. and I know first hand that it was actually a life changing experience. THen much the same as yourself he incurred a traumatic brain injury while helping his grandmother, as he fell from a tree ( about 40 feet) getting limbs down from a previoous years ice storm. Kevin’ s injury happened on August 27, 2009 and we are still attempting to bring back as much recovery as possible. I know that you are more than familiar with all the challeges that a traumatic brain injury victim faces, but I want you to know that your story has brought much needed hope and encouragement to both Kevin and myself.I also feel certain that you are well aware of the support that is needed to recover from an injury such as we speak. I wanted to thank you and tell you that the story of you and your Voyage offers hope to a lot of people. THough sometimes we tend to focus on our own situtation there are alot of people who face similar if not worst circumstances than ourselfves. Kevin in recovering thought he progress if very slow as I ams ure that you are aware, and hopefully one day you will read of Kevin and his journey to reccovery and experience the pride that you must feel from your efforts. You are a monument to all who are forced to face similar challenges. John Lowery, Frankfort, Ky Eqifeathers@aol.com

    • Mr Lowery,

      Christian was especially moved by your story. His recovery, like Kevin’s was not easy but he credits the love of parents like you for how far he came. We read an article in a newspaper clipping about a young man hiking the AT with a brain injury at one of the hostels where Christian stayed and I was able to join him. It was an old article. Did Kevin happen to make it into the paper as you hiked?
      Thank you for your dedication as parents and to the cause of everyone facing TBI’s. We appreciate your words of encouragement so much!

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