Trail Magic (Marlene) and Humps
The Beauty Of Marlene
After almost 400 miles I finally found myself face to face with an angel. She goes by the name Marlene. I came down to Hughes Gap road about to climb the beautiful Roan Mountain when I heard a call of “Trail Magic!” My first sight of Marlene was of a lovely lady in a tie dye shirt waiting by an open trunk with every food a thru-hiker could possibly want.
As I got to know a little more about her, Marlene explained she has been a trail angel for the past 3 years and has been going to at least 12 different gaps aiding the hikers. She said if she were out at a gap all day and was able to help only one hiker then it was worth the effort. She sure did help me and Vanilla Bill who I had been hiking with the past few days.
Roan and Humps
This section of the hike I met quite a few wonderful people. Odometer and her son Buffer were doing a section hike. I enjoyed their company very much at the highest campsite on the AT. Thankfully the weather held out that night as I had already set up my tent and did not feel like sleeping inside of the actual shelter. Odometer wasn’t quite sure if she wanted to sleep outside but I assured her that it wouldn’t rain. Thank goodness it did not rain.
Roan Mountain was a beautiful hike! When we met CeeCee at the Greasy Creek Friendly. She had sang out a rhyme. “You’re going to moan and groan going up the back side of Roan”. As Vanilla Bill and I hiked up the mountain we both exclaimed how wonderful of a hike it was compared to other previous mountains. I had been slightly concerned about it after hearing CeeCee’s little jingle. The weather was a bit clammy and the fog didn’t really lift until after passing Roan but the whole of the trip was mystical. Perhaps it was the magic Marlene provided to us that made all the difference.
Little Hump and Hump were not as easy to summit as Roan. In fact Vanilla Bill and I dubbed Hump as Mama Hump. When we reach the first fence we thought we had completed the hard part for the day. No. It kept going. At first Vinilla Bill was feeling like Rocky. He looked over the fence and saw a whole other mountain we had to climb and just deflated. I too concurred with this feeling. It was steep but entirely worth the views.
The End of North Carolina
I am finally done with the second state, North Carolina. I rode the border for weeks and have seen so many beautiful views and wonderful people. It is setting in that I am actually doing this I am hiking the AT. My family and friends are settling in with this thought as well. No more subtle doubts. Even for myself. I know now that I will continue on. Rain or shine I need to see what the AT has to offer me.
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