The Trail Provides
It is a right of passage on the trail, what you’re known for, you’re identity. It’s usually given by others though you have the right to reject any. You can be named by something absurd you’ve done or how you look/what you wear or any other reason. You’re trail name gives you a meaning your regular life name does not through the story behind the name. My story is plain. Those early days of snow in Georgia I was following those in front of me by the tracks on the trail. Being that I am a gear head, especially in regards to footwear, I could tell what shoes were ahead of me and when I got into camp I would recognize others by what they were wearing. My name is Footprint.
It is what it sounds like, a group of people that hike together that you get to know well enough to become a family. It’s sometimes referred to as a tramily (trail+family). Whatever you call it its part of the trail. It helps logistically to have one when splitting rooms or food in town but the comradeship that comes along with it is invaluable. Sitting around at camp talking about the day, good or bad, is something I think we all need. We’re socially intelligent beings. Even out here in the woods with all that nature can provide we need to flex that social muscle.
Trail Magic and Angels
Many times people that have hiked the trail will give back to it and hikers. These people are angels and what they give is magic. It can be as simple as leaving a few gallons of water at a trailhead or providing a fiesta complete with burritos and fresh fruit. Whatever it is, magic is always a welcome sight. I can never thank them enough but all they want in return is my enjoyment of their generosity and maybe a couple of stories to help them relive those days on the trail.
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Great writing and visualization for me to “see” some of what you are experiencing, along with the FB posts.