What rain and trail magic have in common: always be grateful for both

We had a relaxed start to the day, woke up at 5 but had a bath, washed my hair, had a few cups of coffee. Bob cooked us a energy providing breakfast (our first taste of American gravy) after which Mathilda took us back to the trail.

Luckily, because our bags were heavy (Trevor discarded about a kg and I about half a kg of not-as-essential-as-we-thought items, but we are carrying 5 days of food), it was one of those days where the trail to the mountain top snaked up over a few kilometres instead of shooting in a straight line directly to the top.

We knew there was rain on its way. We expect rain once a week and was hoping this week’s rain would hit while we were zeroeing, but no such luck.

On about 15km we hit trail magic. Husband &wife&friend who did the thru-hike 3 years ago. I was still full from all the food I had over the last 36hours but to not be unthankful to the trail angels I had a cold drink and a packet of crisps, Trevor had a beer and a hot dog. They were very organised and had a lot of items on offer. After spending 15mins chatting to them we moved on.

Only to – believe it or not – find another offering of trail magic 1km further on. Honouring our commitment to always stop at trail magic and chat a bit and be appreciative, we put our bags down again. These were about 5 young guys who did the thru-hike last year, they call themselves the Rocho family, I have no idea whether they are really family. They were less organised, said somebody was on his way to go and buy stuff for hamburgers, but in the mean time they welcomed each hiker with a Ferrero Rocho Chocolate, offered beer or cold drinks (there was a bottle of bourbon but I assume that was for later, they plan to camp there tonight) and a chance to spin-the-wheel. I spinned the wheel and I won 3 more Ferrero Rocho. I was lucky that I got the best prize, they also had socks (just dumped 2 pairs at Mathilda), having your photo taken with the hosts, or a joint 😀. Think they are going to have fun tonight.

Picked up our rucksacks with intent. We have now spent 30mins at 2 trail magic points and only did 1km. I realise this is hard to believe but less than 1km further the trail crossed a dirt road and there was a white bakkie with a young woman sitting in the back of the bakkie with a cooler box and a box of crisps. So….we stopped, had a packet of crisps and chatted to her for a while – she is a section hiker (thru-hikers do the full trail in one season, section hikers also do the full trail but in sections over more than one season) who will finish her final section of the trail in July.

Three trail magics in a 2km stretch, especially after being as well fed as we have been in Erwin & Hendersonville, is not necessarily what you dream about…but the trail angels are here to give and you can’t take the gift of giving away from them by saying no thanks. If you don’t really want to eat or drink you should still have something small and give them a few minutes of your time and show appreciation for what they are doing.

While at the 3rd trail magic the rain came. Walking in the rain is no fun. But if there isn’t enough rain the streams will run dry and where would the hikers then get the water from. You can’t say no thanks to the rain.

Luckily, once you are wet (and the rain came down hard so after 3mins we were soaked) not much more can go wrong. Whether you sit, stand or walk, the wetness stays the same so you might as well walk on. Which is what we did. Eventually the rain stopped and we found a camping spot, we are now dry and cosy in our tent. More rain is expected for tonight and tomorrow but then we will have sunshine for a few days again.

I have no photo for today so will show you one of the beautiful flowers I saw three days ago

2 thoughts on “What rain and trail magic have in common: always be grateful for both

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