The Trail Provides Mantra

Location : Here 👇🏼 — the 🔵

Stopping Point : MM 18

I seem to be off Key West proper.  So that’s a small triumph.

The Trail Provides 

A mantra repeated with semi-religiosity is, “the trail provides.”  I’m finding that to be true, within limits.

These pics are posted to show the trail provides, but also withholds, on occasion.

Several trail locations have been somewhat narrow today.

Just when I thought the path was widening, BAM!

I’ve never felt endangered walking on the roadside and, walking with the traffic, I guess I never will — until the life flight helicopter 🚁 arrives to scrape me off the road, pluck me from a ridge, or other audacious activity.

Our former non-denominational pastor in San Antonio, TX, once delivered a message about swimming with the sharks — after he’d swum with the sharks.  In summary, he explained it was better to die living in the moment you’re living to your fullest capacity than to die watching Wheel of Fortune (etc.).  My wife and I often remind ourselves of that message, especially when — in a past life, I’d trundle off to war torn countries, or a mere walk along the length of a continent.

Today, The Trail Provided

As I prepared to send this blog to the servers, the trail provided me with a walking companion, Harmonica.

Harmonica youthfully strode up to the bench near the locked gate.

Harmonica is a 20-year-old, recent college graduate from Australia 🌏.  We chatted for a while, determined we’re each doing the ECT and decided to walk along the otherwise empty trail.  Um, NOBO hikers — I’m not counting the high-speed traffic roaring by us, frequently mere inches away.

We walked along for several hours and dutifully stopped at Baby’s Coffee (or whatever is there now), as demanded by the FarOut app.

I’m still recovering from a nasty fall and back injury on the C&O Canal Trai last year — which I never got around to reporting on.  By late afternoon, my back was killing me.

So, as the sun began to set, we parted ways at the Sugarloaf Lodge.  Harmonica wants to hike 10,000 km this calendar year, so he’s on a tight schedule.

While I don’t mind extensive alone time, having a trail buddy to chat with made my pack lighter and the miles less consequential.  If you encounter Harmonica on the trail, please treat him well.

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Comments 5

  • Nynke van der Burg : Jan 3rd

    I love this! Thank you-
    and I wish you a wonderful journey to Canada!
    Much love from Nynke in Adelaide -Harmonica’s mom 🙂

    • Allen Evans : Jan 3rd

      Nynke, you’ve molded a boy into a fine young man! It was a pleasure spending several hours with him today.

      My only disappointment today was in our parting.

      • Nynke van der Burg : Jan 6th

        So good to hear! <3

  • Andy : Jan 4th

    Happy New Year Allen and congratulations on starting it out with such an amazing adventure! I’m green with envy but wishing you all the best.

    • Allen Evans : Jan 6th

      Thank you, Andy!

      Keep an eye peeled — I try to update daily. Have you subscribed?


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