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Trail Angel Stories: Mark

Trail Angel Stories: Mark

The momentum from the descent kept my legs going; my body was on autopilot to get to our next water source and lunch spot. The trees started to thin as we approached a trailhead. Journey Man and I stumbled out of the woods to find two empty folding chairs, a cooler, a row of metal ammo boxes, and a pyramid of canned goods. Our eyes wandered around the empty gravel parking lot. Who brought these here? 

We dropped our packs and got closer to investigate the goodies. We pawed through the cans and pilfered through the ammo boxes, opening them like they were wrapped presents. Journey Man found chili mac and I picked up spaghetti and meatballs. We each got a personal box of cereal and a prepackaged crepe. We dragged the two chairs into some shade and unpacked our stoves. Hot lunch today!

Fellow hikers walked out of the woods behind us, snagged some goodies, and found spots in the sparse shade. We acknowledged each other with a smile and wave before resuming the important matter at hand: eating. 

A man on an e-bike rode up to the parking lot. Journey Man and I chatted casually with him until another hiker approached the three of us. “Are you responsible for all of this?” he asked, gesturing at the trail magic. “I guess you can say the universe is responsible. I’m just the one that brought it here,” the man said with a smile. We thanked him for his generosity and the diversity of goodies he provided. “It’s more about where it is, than what it is,” he said. We thought on it and nodded in agreement. The man walked off into the forest before I could catch his name or snag a picture, but I have a feeling he wouldn’t have been comfortable with the notoriety! I believe true trail angels are those who are motivated by the pure satisfaction of just helping others.

- Mantis

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