How a day can turn out totally different than planned – 24 May

We started hiking early – 6h15 – to put some miles in before the heat took possession of the day, and because we had another 32km day planned (same as yesterday), including 2 brutal climbs.

….And a stop at the General Dealer in between for Trevor and his cold drinks!!!

The first part of the day went as planned, we got to Devil’s Tooth in high spirits.

For those of you on Trevor’s WhatsApp group – “4km downhill ” was way too optimistic. This was a TOUGH downhill, quite a lot of scrambling and a lot of bumps; at times it felt as if we were going uphill not downhill.

It happens often that I talk and Trevor doesn’t listen to what I’m saying – I guess that’s a man/woman thing. We wanted to go to an outfitter in Dalesville to look at our gear (smaller backpacks and summer sleeping bags) but our problem was that we would be walking into town late on Saturday and the outfitter is not open on a Sunday. It would mean that we will have little time finding the outfitter and having to rush big and expensive shopping decisions before closing time. So last night I said an option might be to shuttle into Daleville to have our zero day on Saturday iso Sunday, then shuttle back Sunday morning and continue where we came off the trail. Trevor didn’t acknowledged that he even heard what I was saying so I moved on.

When we got close to the road which would lead us to the general dealer, Trevor said that he thinks the idea of bringing the zero in Dalesville forward by shuttling in is a good idea. I was huffing and puffing from tiredness and assumed we would discuss it over a cold drink at the general dealer. And that is when we stepped onto the road.

Trevor looked up and said that’s Ice Man! (from yesterday’s “accidental trail magic”). We walked over and asked what on earth he was doing here (they were hiking a section but was going SOBO) – their hike was cut short because Lucky’s (who was hiking with him) mother in law passed away. Ice Man said he was there waiting for us to arrive and is there anything he can do to help us. We said we are going to the general dealer – so he took us. On our way Trevor said we might go to Daleville now and zero a day earlier, so he said he will take us.

Now I wrote in an earlier post how trail magic teaches one to receive graciously – there is just no way to understand why somebody would meet us once and be so incredibly kind to us, but we have learned to humbly accept and appreciate, and to hopefully pay it forward.

Ice Man (his name comes from him being at a trail head when a dad came out of the woods with his 12year old daughter who had broken her arm, and he had ice on hand for them to ice the arm) took us back to the trail from the general dealer, and while he was giving trail magic (taking people to the general dealer and fetching them to go back to the trail, dishing out cold drinks as people arrived) we hiked another 10km so that we at least got 26km for the day, he then picked us up at the next road crossing and took us to the Outfitter in Daleville, where he patiently waited while we tried on and bought new gear. He then dropped us off at the motel we are staying at and started heading back to Pensylvania. We sent our old sleeping bags home with him, when later on the hike it gets cooler again we will ask him to mail it to us to a hostel on the trail, but for now we have light summer bags.

The guy assisting us at the outfitter was great and saved me a a lot of money. He looked at my current backpack and found that one of the base structure straps are close to collapsing. He said Osprey (the brand I have) has a life long guarantee on the structure so he gave me my new pack for free, he will send my old pack in and treat the transaction as a replacement. We really are in awe of this country’s people: friendly and helpful and so different to how I expected them to be.

So I’m lying in bed with a full tummy writing this. And the funniest of all is this: you all know Trevor doesn’t ever ask for freebies, and many of you know he doesn’t eat bananas. The very helpful assistant at the motel told us the restaurant we were going to be grabbing supper at has a thru-hiker special: a free banana desert. When we had finished our meal Trevor actually asked for his free desert! And then finished it off within 3 mins while I was still trying to scoop out the custard without having to eat the cookies&cream filling the plate!

Tomorrow we will find transport to Roanoke, a city not too far from Daleville. We will go walk around in the historical centre and Trevor needs to find a phone repair place as he has phone problems – what’s not to be thankful for…!

For Fiona who wanted to see what Trevor looks like with a beard (however – he has now shaved it off so we should do a AFTER picture too)

Happy weekend all


6 thoughts on “How a day can turn out totally different than planned – 24 May

  1. What a beautiful story – bringing tears to my eyes.
    And thanks so much for the photo of Trevor. He looks a treat with a beard. 😎

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Beard makes Trevor look more like an American! Or my mental picture of how all these characters look! It’s amazing how ice man treated you, so glad you get to enjoy that love and service.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Nou het ek ingehaal Ria en sal bybly… Wow, julle is amazing! En so ‘n wonderlike ondervinding. Dankie dat jy dit met ons deel… So beskrywend. Na die AT gaan jy iets moet vind om oor te blog sodat ons kan bly lees. Die foto’s is uitstekend ook. Sterkte en ‘n groot WELL DONE en DOEN SO VOORT. Mis jou xx

    Liked by 1 person

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