The road less traveled…

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5-22-12 Pennsylvania…where the rocks stab your feet like daggers, and the people are Angels.

After stopping at Pen Mar Park in the morning for a cookie/coffee break with the boys, I crossed the famous Mason-Dixon line into PENNSYLVANIA.

Crossing the Mason-Dixon line

I was finally feeling a big-mile day so I was ready to hike! Later on in the afternoon I crossed a bridge and found Ratbucket talking with a couple, Charlene and Thane, who were surrounded by their FIFTEEN little yappy dogs. It was quite the sight.

Charlene and Thane and their family of dogs

Astonishingly they were actually in good control of the dogs and the dogs listened to their every command. Only a couple of them needed to be leashed and that is because they were “dogsitting” them.

Charlene introduced herself as a ‘Trail Angel’. A Trail Angel is a person who leaves food and performs other acts of kindness for hikers. Whether it be a woman who bakes chocolate-chip cookies just for hikers, a shop that offers hikers free milkshakes and most wondrous of all, the rare sighting of a can of beer left chilling in a stream. Some Trail Angels bring supplies to shelters, first aide, water, toilet paper, and some even leave their numbers in log books for hikers to call up if they need anything.

Charlene asked Ratbucket and I if we needed anything and we both replied that we were fine. Then she said “Well, how about some Burger King?” And of course we both said Yes, PLEASE!! So we made arrangements to meet her a little further down the trail at another road crossing as they had just started to walk their dogs. Talk about motivation…that was the quickest 6 miles on record to meet up with my Burger King meal. Not only did they get us a value meal with french fries, but also large sodas, a Hershey’s dessert pie, and a dozen cookies! It was some Great Trail Magic.

This is what my feet look like after hiking for 16 miles in soaking wet socks and shoes.

Burger King Trail Magic

About 5 miles later I was walking through Caledonia State Park and another couple called me over and offered me a sloppy joe. This was the first moment on the trail that I actually considered turning trail magic down, my stomach was not the least bit hungry. It just seemed wrong to say no, so I ate a sloppy joe and took the couple of kiwis and tangerines to save for later. When I got to the shelter, once again I didn’t have to make dinner as I was too full. I did enjoy some hot cocoa and a couple of BK cookies though. This was the 2nd day that week that I didn’t really eat anything from my food bag. This is normally a good thing, but I usually enjoy having my food bag getting lighter as days go by…and this was not happening at all.

Funky looking tree on the trail

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June 28, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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