I provided trail magic one day this week but it wasn’t of the sort your thinking. I wasn’t close to a trail and I didn’t help a hiker. I was at a grocery store and she was asking for a little extra food.
I ran to the grocery store not even to pick up groceries but buy a book of stamps. On my way out there was a young woman standing on the side-walk that was shyly asking a young man a question. He shook his head and walked on. This all happened in a matter of seconds. Me tra-la-la-ing to an Alanis Morissette song in my head, didn’t really register what I was witness of until half way out to the Stallion. I backed out and circled the parking lot more to avoid my own embarrassment, to make sure she was still there asking someone else a question. Yes, there she was now sitting on the side walk concern etched in her face. She now sat and watched people walk out of the store; not one even seeing her.
After I recircled the lot I parked and found an empty grocery sack floating around in the stallion. I then threw in a couple of bags of chips left over from actual trail magic from Darwin’s CDT hike. I grabbed a hand full of loose change and threw it in too. I made my way up to the front of the store and found her still sitting, now looking at her feet. I knelt down to her and asked if she needed some food and she said yes. I told her I seen her on my way out but hadn’t bought any food. I handed over the bag and explained to her all I had were a few bags of chips from my car and some loose change but I hoped it would help. She said thank you and that it would definitely help her.
A few things happened during our brief exchange. When I knelt down I acknowledged her as a human and I couldn’t help but notice the look of surprise on her face. I acknowledged her existence and came down to her level, not looking down on her, I spoke with her. Then the fact that I giving her a bag of stuff let alone anything seemed to catch her completely off guard. When she thanked me, I saw her relief. Whatever I was giving her would get her a little further down the path she was on; I hoped to better circumstances.
As I returned to the Stallion, I looked back in the rear-view mirror and noticed someone talking with the young woman and handing her something. Then another person did the same after that. As I drove off I saw her now standing her head raised up.
Could she have been someone who drove to that grocery store in a brand new car simply to pan handle money off some suckers? Yes. Could she turn around and throw those chips away? Yep. Could she accumulate all the loose change of the day for drugs? Sure. All I could think of though was when I was hiking and needing a hitch. The people who stopped for Darwin and I could have thought the same thing and kept driving. The people that took us in or bought us food could have questioned the same. Why are they really hiking the AT? What are they hiding? When Darwin was on the AZT a nice couple made him dinner and housed him for the night when he really needed it. No questions asked. When we first moved to Albuquerque we were at one time very close to tenting and asking for help from strangers too. Sometimes you can’t question everything or you’ll never do anything.
The trail community is a beautiful thing, people give with no questions. They help each other through the worst of circumstances. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be in society like that? If you have never been on trail and experienced trail magic, I’m not sure if you will understand this post, but I hope you can connect to it in some way. I don’t always have the capability to help but that day I did. I shared a few bags of chips that I had the money to buy and the choice not to eat. Some people are not as fortunate.
Provide some trail magic this week no matter if the trail is dirt, concrete, or asphalt. I would love to hear about it!
Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts/Website Posts:
- Updates on My TP Challenge – Unsuccessful! (we ran out of tp this week and resorted to tissues and paper towels until payday, sad but true. Updates will be given next week.)
- Snuggles’ AT Mental Prep List – Posted! Check it Out Here!
- Trip Report on TWA Canyon Hike – Posted! Check it Out Here!
- Snuggles’ AT Gear List (Written) – Posted! Check it Out Here!
(During A time Of Trail Magic In 2015)