Pennsylvania and Trail Magic

We’ve been in PA for six days now. Already, we’ve experienced more trail magic then the entire trip so far. There are two criteria I am using to define trail magic: (1) it is totally unexpected, and (2) it is totally needed. Well if not desperately needed, it is needed enough to make you giddy.
Our first incident of trail magic happened within an hour of crossing the Pennsylvania border. We arrived in Del Water Gap and found the Water Gap Diner for breakfast. That made us happy – even giddy – but it wasn’t unexpected. What happened next was a true surprise.

In checking e-mail, there was a note from an old friend, Jim King, inviting us to his house in the Poconos that very weekend. My kids and Jim’s kids were in Scouts together in PA. But we hadn’t been in close touch in 10 years. He had been following my blog and decided to invite us when we got to Pennsylvania.

Well, it didn’t take long for us to call and accept. It was a wonderful weekend. We waited at the diner until they picked us up. We got the “holy trinity” of hiker wishes: a shower, laundry, and food! We had a great time catching up in the afternoon, and then they took us out to dinner along with their neighbors.

The dinner meal was great fun and filled with conversation. Then ice cream, sleeping in a real bed, and a breakfast of pancakes, coffee, and juice.  Jim and Mary are now officially Trail Angels in my mind. Jim dropped us back at the Water Gap and we continued our journey.

The second incident happened at Little Gao, just before we reached the Lehigh River. We had overestimated our speed and underestimated our water needs. At 6:30 we were about six miles short of the next shelter and water source. Ian had no water left and I had little. We decided to stop before it got dark and to hustle to water early in the morning.

Not having water, both of us decided we were very thirsty. It wasn’t a dangerous situation (we weren’t dehydrated) but your brain always wants what you don’t have. Because we didn’t have water, it was all we could think about.
So the next morning we walk less than a quarter  mile to Little Gap and unexpectedly come across a cooler full of iced bottles of water. Not just water, but ICE water. I immediately drank one bottle and boy, brain freeze never felt so good!

The water was left (just left that morning) by “Momma Bear”. We signed her log and thanked her profusely. My only regret was that we weren’t there a little sooner so we could have thanked her in person.

The third incident happened a few hours later when we finally got to Lehigh Gap. Another cooler with ice cold soda, juice boxes, cupcakes, snickers, and other goodies was left by the “Washington Township Trail Angels”. Again, it really hit the spot. While not desperate, we were still giddy upon coming across this.

So Pennsylvania has been kind to us and we are grateful!  Thank you, Jim and Mary. Thank you, Momma Bear. Thank you, Washington Township Trail Angels. 

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Comments 2

  • Tackleberry : Sep 6th

    Good luck to the both of you. I hope to do the same with my son some day. Looking forward to hearing more from you in the future.

  • Carol : Sep 17th

    Glad to hear my home state of Pennsylvania was kind to both of you. Doesn’t surprise me…great state! I’m now living in Wales, UK and following your blog online. Take care and enjoy the journey! Carol


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