Trail Magic Already! #blessed
By day two on the trail I had already had three instances of trail magic!
I stayed at the Amicalola lodge the night before the start of my hike. While I was sitting in bed watching TV, I saw something out the corner of my eye. I looked over and there was a ladybug on my pillow. I screamed with excitement and started crying with joy.
This was the best-timed good omen I could have possibly gotten and here’s why. For one, my trail name is Ladybug. I did pick it myself but it fits me perfectly. I have wanted a Volkswagen Beetle since I was in second grade. I had a 2011 green convertible Beetle for a time and even made my Instagram @ladyinabug because of it. I know I will be owning a Beetle again and had already decided it would be red. On top of all this, I had just meet Adam’s parents and get this, his mother loves ladybugs. She even gave me two pairs of ladybug earrings that she had made herself.
Seeing that ladybug felt like the trail telling me that “everything is going to be alright.” I had been feeling anxious and scared about this crazy thing I’d decided to do. Like who did I think I was, “thinking I could thru-hike the Appalachian trail?” Yeah, I love nature and I’m an OK fit person but what the hell did I know about hiking long distance. That ladybug did more than fill me with hope. It reminded me that even though I didn’t know everything about distance hiking, I had prepared for this endeavor. I had gone to multiple R.E.I classes on hiking, thru-hiking, winter hiking, etc. I had read books and guides. Had bought and tested gear. I was as ready for this adventure as anyone else.
Most hikers know the Leapfrog Cafe and its owner, Fresh Grounds. I had the pleasure of meeting him my second day on the trail.
The trail so far had been hard. It had been cloudy and rainy. My pack had way too much stuff in it and my boots were not broken in and were killing my feet. We had hiked from Hawk Mountain campsite to Gooch Gap (9.6 miles) that day. When I saw Fresh Grounds’ setup and realized he was a trail angel who wanted to feed us, I almost cried in relief.
As I sank down into one of his lawn chairs, the sun came out from behind the clouds and I did start crying. It was the first time seeing the sun since the start of my hike. Fresh Grounds smiled as he saw the joy spread over my face, and said, “That, that right there is why I do this.” I replied, “And I’m so happy you do!”
He got busy making homemade fries. I washed my hands and relieved my feet from their boot prisons. Once the fries were done and he made sure I had a beverage, he started on a hot dog and a grill cheese sandwich. He was a joy to talk to and his cooking skills were phenomenal; it was the best grilled cheese. He even made us banana pancakes in the morning.
This one is still Fresh Grounds related. As I have already said, my pack had way too much stuff in it. I had it filled to the brim and still had stuff hanging on the outside. Fresh Grounds had mentioned that he had friends who slackpack hikers and I asked him if he would call one of them. He called his friend Leroy, who had planned on coming to hang out with him that next morning. Leroy agreed to slackpack me to Woody Allen Gap.
If my toes had mouths, they would have sung in joy at the news. The next morning I left my pack with Fresh Grounds and got back to the trail. I thanked the universe and the trail for all my good fortune and basically flew through the forest, without my pack. 🐞🐞
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