Today, I hiked a massive 4.5 miles. Hiked from the camp site last night to a highway. I was thrilled to see a little bright orange salamander in a log.
I was also fortunate to pass through Brown Mountain Creek Community. It was started and inhabited by freed slaves. It was a farm community. It disbanded in the 1920’s. I went off trail and did some exploring of the ruins. I want to know more.
The goal was to hitchhike into Buena Vista, Virginia for as food resupply.
Tried to get a ride for 1.5 hours, but no luck. A lot of people waived. Most of the traffic was logging trucks. So Clipper and I decided to just start walking towards town, it was a long haul. About 15 minutes into the walk a guy sees us and says he is going to turn around and come back. A few minutes later we are in his truck for the 20 minute drive. He has been picking up hikers for 40 years he said snd he was 72. He lived in the area his whole life. He quit school in the 6th grade. When he was 52 he and his friend went back to school and earned his GED. He was so proud of that and he beamed telling the story. He has been retired for a while and just enjoys being around hikers. He dropped us at the grocery store.
After getting groceries and packing up, a guy chatted with us and drove us to the hiker hotel and then a pizza place. He said to call him if we needed a ride back to the trail in the morning. He has been heavily involved in the AT over the years.
We went to the local pizza place. They offered to even drive us back to the hotel for free. They said they love their thru hikers. While there, the City Manager even came over to welcome us to town and we chatted for a bit.
Whoever would have thought, some dirty, smelly thru hikers would be shown so much love, respect, and pure kindness from total strangers. They even want pictures of us. Today has blown my mind. I thanked every last one of them. It just proves to me that people can be kind and caring and if we all (myself included), just take the time to talk to each other and help each other out, the world can be so amazing, it is amazing, but even more so. I am just so humbled, I never expected or could have dreamt this. I don’t see how I can be the same person after all of this. I want to do more kind things for others and not ask for anything in return.
Who knows what other Trail Magic lies a head or what opportunities are head for me to help someone.