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.