The road less traveled…

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5-24-12 Bruce & Susan: Wonderful Trail Angels of Boiling Springs, PA

What seems like ages and ages ago when I stayed at Woods Hole Hostel in Virginia, I met a wonderful couple, Bruce and Susan.

Susan, Bruce and I.

They gave me their information and asked to call them when I got to PA so they could give me a place to rejuvenate. Even though I gave them less then 12 hours notice, Bruce said the timing was perfect and that they were just talking about me and my crazy group of friends, hoping that I would call them.

Ratbucket was hiking with me at the time so he also scored a free place to crash and get cleaned up. We got to town right when Susan pulled up to meet us and drove us to the store so we could re-supply. Their home is one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever been in.

Bruce and Susan’s beautiful home.

It’s possible that I think this because it is exactly how I would design my own home. Susan made us a wonderful meal, fruits, salad, a bowl of chili, peach pie, and a couple of beers.

Bruce used to live in a house that was extremely close to the trail and he actually had a free shelter in his backyard for their use. He showed me all of his hiker log books from over the years and then took us to his “man cave” over the garage. I would technically call it a “man cavern” because it was huge and awesome. I knew that Bruce was an avid hiker, but I didn’t realize he was a triple-crowner until seeing his memorabilia. A triple-crowner is someone who completes the 3 major U.S. long distance trails: Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Eastern Continental Divide Trail.

Bruce’s “Man Cavern” with his hiking poles and hats from his 3 “triple-Crown” hikes.

His bookshelves were filled with heaps and heaps of great hiking books, including a signed copy of “Walking with Spring” by Earl Shaffer, who was the first thru-hiker of the trail. It turns out that Bruce was friends with Earl and had hiked with him several times when he was still alive. He then showed me more pictures of him on various hikes and some of the gear he used for them. So amazing.

That night I slept on their futon and their cat, Luna, curled up next to me. It was alarming at first to wake and find a fur ball next to my face, but then I found it comforting. No mice would think of bothering me then.

The next morning Bruce made us a hefty breakfast and got us back to town, fully rested, clean, and ready to hike.

Spending time with Bruce and Susan once again made me appreciate how wonderful it is for Trail Angels to invite people into their home and care for them. There is so much kindness in the world, and sometimes we forget to look and really see it. Moments like that definitely reaffirm my faith in humanity.

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June 28, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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