Our Trail Names Rain Down at Sams Gap

We have trail names!

Lauren is officially now known as Makin’ It. I’m T-Rex.

We were at Sams Gap in a downpour. From under the overpass we spotted a blue tent butting up against the bed of a covered truck. Walking through the parking lot toward it, we saw an assorted group of seven or eight hikers and trail angels huddling on the one square of dry lot in the gap. They invited us in, offered us hamburgers and hot dogs, and beer.

As has been established, I am tall, and as a height-advantaged person, I did not fit beneath the tent. Around me stood the others, the group averaging a foot shorter than me, and they, at their five feet and whatever inches, fit.

I slowly squeezed in, slouching to get my head under the tarp’s lip. Water collected in a trough of folded cloth. The tent shook and the collected water fell down my neck and back.

So I stood, half in and half outside the tent, poles held dangling from my fingers at forearm’s length. Another hiker looked up at me and from her vantage (a foot below me) said, “You look like a T-Rex. I’m going to call you T-Rex.” And so it was. The name stuck.

I eventually made it completely under the tent. It took some shuffling.

Lauren earned hers while talking with the trail angel hosting us. She asked her what she did for a living, why we were hiking. Lauren told her we quit our jobs, left our home, didn’t have insurance, and that all we really had was making it (to Maine, that is). The trail angel spun around from her post at the grill and said, “That’s it! Your trail name is Makin’ It!” And boom. Trail name given and received.

Her name has been good. It has become a catchphrase for her, something she wields at just the right moment. Like when she volunteered to bake an apple pie at Woods Hole Hostel.

“Who made the pie?”

“Makin’ it’s bakin’ it!”

That’s just what she does. She’s makin’ things happen and by golly, she’ll make Maine happen, too.

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