Ever since high school Friday was my favorite day of the week. Not the actual weekend, the anticipation of the weekend. This continued into varsity life, and then into adulthood. Fridays come with a lightness in the air, you pick it up in talk radio, on music stations, at the office, it tends to be a fun day.
On the AT days of the week is immaterial. The only days you get (and you allocate them yourself) are hiking days, town/re-supply days, zero days. And trail magic days, which are gifts from trail angels and out of your control.
But today had the making of a Friday, a fun day on the trail.
Our hostel owner supplied bread and cheese to make grilled sandwiches for dinner because she isn’t (like all other out-of-town hostel owners) prepared to take people into town to grab a bite. We had pizza for lunch/dinner so the grilled cheese sandwiches became a decadent breakfast. When she dropped us off in town we bought coffee and muffins so we started walking on full tummies – nice, as our standard breakfast bars aren’t normally enough to make us feel unhealthily full 😀.
There is (we heard) a tradition to hike naked on summer solstice, not that we were going to do it!!!! or that we really wanted to see naked hikers but again, the knowledge that it was the 21st brought some fun and lightness to the day.
After all the recent rains the trail was, for long sections, nothing but rivers of mud. I instructed Trevor to take a photo (for the blog) would I to fall face first into the mud, I was slipping and sliding so much I was sure it was inevitable. The trail gods spared me but I came close…..
When we reached Pensylvania we sent Iceman a note. Remember “accidental trail magic” and “individual trail magic”? We met him on the trail while he was doing a few-days-hike with a friend and afterwards he looked for and found us on route, and took us all the way into Daleville to get to an outfitter when we wanted to replace our packs. He said we should contact him when we get to Pensylvania; his home state. Round 12h today we got a note from him asking at what time we would be at mile 1139, and that was where he waited for us. It is pretty special when trail magic (though extended to other bypassers) are there specifically for you. In this case the cold drinks and snacks were (though very welcome) secondary to seeing Iceman again. We sat for quite a while and I bombarded him with questions about the last third of the trail (with being over half way mark my mind is now set on the finish line). It is 4 weeks ago that we last saw him, but in a way it feels like a lifetime ago, so many foot-miles since then.
So today was a town day/hiking day/trail magic day all rolled into one. If anything on the trail comes close to a Friday, today was it.