Today’s miles: 12.1
To Craggy Mtn “Picnic Pavilion”
It was a Gross Day. All I saw today was blah: fog, rain, and trees cloaked in mist. I listened to flashes of top 40 countdowns on my radio. I am tented in the heavy wind at the top of Craggy Flats under a wooden structure and I intend to stay here until morning. I just hope that the wind and thunder don’t get me first.
Modeled after “In This I Believe” from NPR:
I believe in trail magic. I first was introduced to the concept on the Appalachian Trail, when I hiked from Georgia to Maine in 2006. It came in the form of some guy sitting at a card table in a gap with bologna and mustard sandwiches for hikers. Since then, I have figured out that beyond this affected (but well-meaning) trail magic, there is a greater force helping travelers on the road or trail. While studying in Ghana, I found that same type of coincidence. If you needed something, it would just appear in the market or the courtyard.
Since hiking alone in the North Carolina mountains, I have found the same, magical appearance of things that I need on the side of the road or trail, such as an unopened bottle of water sitting on the side of the road, as I contemplated flagging down cars to ask for water. It’s as if there is some greater force looking over the traveler, the hiker, and when something is needed and obtaining it is not as easy as going to the store and buying it, it is furnished. I have utmost faith in trail magic.
When you dig deeper, it is probably just a combination of factors: focusing your want or need on items of perfectly defined specificity and having the time and patience for it to fall into your path. Nonetheless, it seems to me a phenomena best described as “magic.