More Love and Thoughts from the Trail

Mile 346

I’m in Erwin TN taking a zero for Easter.   The Trail has been amazing to me lately.  The trail magic and trail angels seem to show up just when I need my spirits lifted.   For example just yesterday a couple friends and I were deciding how and when to arrive in Erwin TN for a mail pickup.   We had decided to possibly push into Erwin that day but it meant we had to do a 20+ day.  Of course, my friend said it was mostly downhill (one thing I have learned about the trail so far is that all downhill really means is that there is another uphill coming).  At any rate, at about 15 miles in for the day (about max for these old legs) I run into Gary and Michelle Apple doing trail magic.


I immediately start eating like that is my only job.  We hit it off and they offer to haul my pack into Erwin so I can slackpack the last 10 miles.  I have for sure decided the trail does provide.   I would not have made it before midnight without this.

They have also called several times to make sure that I’m OK and, bless their hearts,  said if I ever need any help to reach out. 

Highlights so far.  

The Smokies were absolutely magical.  Sometimes walking among the mossy trees reaching heavenward with the almost overpowering quietness made me feel like I was in a cathedral, and of course, I was.

Spent a day in Gatlinburg.   I guess I may have already spent too much time on the Trail but talk about sensory overload.  I could only think about getting away from all the people and back to the trail. 

The Standing Bear Farm was,  for me, a highlight. When you get there you are handed a clipboard on which you write what supplies you pick up, your room, and any meals.   Then as you leave they tally it all up.  What a simple and trustworthy system.  It appears to me, as a somewhat carpenter, that they recycle all the lumber for their buildings.   I did not see one new stick of wood anywhere. 

Max Patch was a bit of a disappointment as it was windy with a foot of snow on the trail.   Big Bald more than made up for it.   I could have laid on the grass in the sun for a day there.

The one constant, so far, is that I wish I could show with a picture what the views are really like.   Maybe that is to give those of us who do the work a special reward. They are often truly awe-inspiring.

Lastly, in this time of Easter, I am grateful that I am allowed to be in this beautiful spiritual place surrounded by all the special love from the trail and the people on the trail looking to find what their souls are searching for.   May I find what my soul is seeking as well. 

This last heart shows only after a rain and only until it drys out.

May your legs be strong

May pack seem light

May the Trail and all that walk upon it lift your spirit’s



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