I cannot understate the importance of Trail Angels, and it seems that New York has an abundance of them.
I would like to take the time to shout out a few of the angels that I have had the privilege to meet over the past week.
Tuxedo Trail Angels
I have no idea who these people are. All I know is that they stock a water cache where there is no good water. For at least a week I had been coming across nasty brown streams coming from ponds. The sight I beheld at I approached the road was at least forty gallons of water just sitting there. Amazing.
G-Hippie and Shredder
I met these two back in Virginia, actually. They threw the party at the Keffer Oak. At the time I had no idea that I would ever see them again. Just the other day, I spent the entire afternoon with them.
It was a hot day. 90+ degrees. Bottle Cap, Fun Size and I made the unfortunate decision to hike in the heat of the day. I emerged from the woods and walked across the road to find them, Pitchouli, and Indian taking cover under an information board. We were tired from the heat, and were desperate to get out of it. Fun Size had G-Hippie’s phone number, so we gave him a call.
G-Hippie and Shredder showed up with cold beer, and more importantly, a ride to Canopus Lake. They stayed with us for the rest of the day, swimming and hanging out with us. We commiserated over the suck of the mid-Atlantic trail. It was a much needed reprieve from the heat, and their light-hearted natures helped our mental fortitude.
After Canopus Lake, we spent the night at the campground in the state park. We heard there was trail magic happening at campsite 14. We walked over to see a shirtless, older New York man joking and frantically cooking for people on his camp stove.
Joe had cans of ravioli, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ham sandwiches, and various beverages. He served everyone in turn. He explained that he really enjoys feeding the hikers annually, and that he does this every couple weeks for a week straight. He even cooks breakfast. His whole day was dedicated to us, and would even wake at 3am if he needed to accommodate early risers.
Lynn and Joe
Bottle Cap, Fun Size and I had hiked eleven miles in a heat wave. I am pretty sure I had heat exhaustion, because I was sleepy and light-headed. It was hard to bring myself to hike 0.7 milestone the road crossing to Pawling, NY. Somehow I found the energy and got to the road. We planned to hitch to town and become happy. As it happens, the second car to pass us was Lynn’s.
She drove us to Pawling and gave us her number. After we ate and did our laundry, we needed a ride back to the trail. However, it was late and we would be doing some night hiking to a camp spot. Fun Size gave Lynn a call, and she offered us a stay at her house for the night! We eagerly agreed, and before long Lynn’s white SAAB pulled up and we were whisked away to her abode.
We met her husband Joe, and we all visited while each of us took a turn in the shower. We stayed up until 11:30.
I feel like NY has had the largest number of angels of any state thus far. It never ceases to amaze me how trail magic has a knack for appearing at the just the right moments. Every time I feel down and out, I get a healthy dose of sanity restoring hospitality or kindness.
I am amazed that this is one aspect of the trail that hasn’t left me disillusioned. People are great.