No One Could Believe This Amazing Trail Magic
Fine Dining On the AT
No one would ever believe what happened when thru-hikers arrived to the Overmountain Shelter on Saturday and Sunday. Hikers were met by students from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) hosting a one-of-a-kind trail magic event; the Appalachian Pine Mixer.
Thru-hikers were treated to salad, entrees of gnocchi or salmon as well as dessert options. A violinist played music and a server darted from the barn kitchen to the table settings brought in by the group.
The SCAD students are part of Collaborative Experience 409, an immersive experience involving the school’s ten-week quarters. Students began the Appalachian Trail from March 19-24 beginning at Amicalola Falls to Hogpen Gap, about forty miles, during their Spring Break. With an open prompt, students were asked to design something around their experience of the trail.
SCAD Professor Phil “Bun Getting” Caridi says, “(Students)… with four groups of three people each came up with over 100 ideas of taking trail magic to the extreme and even impossible. After pairing the 100 things, we found what was feasible in order to provide the experience.”
Students set to work designing, welding and laser cutting tables for the dining experience. Everything from the atmosphere to costumes to the menu were constructed for the event.
Paul “Buzz (Lightyear)” Hawkins, is a Senior and head of the furniture team. Buzz says, “The biggest obstacles were to create lightweight, durable and luxurious settings. Table design used tarpaulin table cloth and tension for holding the table upright while still retaining a formal look of fine dining.”
What’s for Lunch?
Hosts Talk the Trail
Effie “‘Merica!” Sodergren, Senior, pictured above, says this was her first time backpacking and was super excited for the adventure. Originally from South Florida, one of the things Merica says moved her about the AT was the community on the trail. “Every person said, ‘how’s your day?’ or were willing to share what little they all had. Also, nothing about your life outside of the trail mattered, you’re all hikers.”
45,000-mile thru-hiker Mother Goose says, “I have never seen anything like this. I’m like everybody else, always a day late (for events). This is incredible.”
Dapper Dan says, “I’ve been hiking the Appalachian trail from New Hampshire to North Carolina for years. This is definitely the most original trail magic ever. I’m glad I went the distance to view the shelter and see this.”
Note: As the author and also a guest at this unique event, I wanted to personally thank the students of SCAD for this amazing experience. I apologize for missing any names of those involved. Be sure to check out @barefoothiker for more fun photos from this event!
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