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Trail Angel Stories: Carbs

Trail Angel Stories: Carbs

Journey Man and I were making our way down to a dirt road crossing. A SOBO (southbound hiker) gave us a heads up that there was trail magic ahead! When we emerged from the woods, we saw a truck and a camper parked. A dozen hikers were gathered there in the shade. 

“Can I ask you a question,” a large man stood up from a camp chair. “Do you eat pancakes?” he eyed us expectedly. A huge grin spread across my face as I nodded enthusiastically. “I just ask that you wash your hands at my hand washing station over there,” he requested. When we returned to the circle of hikers, he handed us each an ice old soda.

Journey Man and I took a seat in the group and talked with our fellow travelers. One hiker manned the flat top griddle, passing the treats out one by one as they were cooked. The trail angel, Carbs, provided butter, jam, and peanut butter to top our pancakes. I slathered mine with butter.

Journey Man and I stayed for a couple hours and continued chatting with hikers and our host. Carbs started trail angeling when his neighbor began hiking long distances. Carbs supported his friend by popping up at locations along the way with food, and he fell in love with the thru hiking community. “People get so excited over such simple things,” he told us. “Peanut butter slathered on bread!” he said in an incredulous tone. He’s really picked up his trail angeling since his recent retirement. “It’s really about the right thing at the right time.”

We were about to head out and continue walking when Carbs dipped into his RV and returned with wine. “Happy hour!” he exclaimed. Journey Man and I settled back into our chairs; what harm could one glass of wine do? We ended up staying at Carbs’ trail magic for two more hours, and he kept refilling our cups. Conversation flowed like the wine. We talked with hikers about the difficulties of the Oregon section and engaged in a conversation about where we find joy in thru hiking when it gets tough.

At last, Journey Man and I bade Carbs and the hikers farewell. They probably chuckled as we stumbled back to trail, having indulged a little too much in the wine. We only made it 0.6 miles farther down the trail that night, but Carbs’ trail magic was certainly the right thing at the right time.

- Mantis

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