Journey Man and I stood on the road with three of our friends, Headstart, Twist and Mini Chimi. We had our bags packed and thumbs out. The five of us waited for fifteen minutes with no luck, so we decided to split the group in hopes that we could get rides with smaller numbers.
Journey Man and I walked down the main street to put some distance between the two groups. We waited maybe ten more minutes before a big pickup pulled onto the shoulder. The driver rolled his window down, “Heading back to trail?” He helped us load our packs into the bed of the truck and welcomed us into the cab.
On the thirteen mile drive, we learned that Doug’s grandson is also attempting a thru hike this summer. “I liked to help hikers out here and there in years prior,” Doug told us, “but this year especially because now we have a better understanding of what you guys go through.” He dropped us at the trail head and sent us off with a friendly wave.
Trail angels have all kinds of reasons for helping thru hikers. It’s really cool to meet people who have loved ones on the trail currently or who knew loved ones who hiked past years; it’s a great example of the ripple effect that thru hiking has and how quickly the community can grow!