Newbies hoping to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail always ask, "What's the weather like in Georgia in February?" Now we know. Snow, freezing lows, high winds, torrential rain and mud. What makes it all worthwhile? Trail Magic at Gooch Gap ... and all the way to Maine.
"They say" four out of five earnest hikers who hit the Trail will run out of money, motivation, gear, time or health before the end of the Trail.
On Saturday, February 20, 2016, 100% of all thru-hiker hopefuls got their first taste of Trail Magic at Gooch Gap, 17.2 miles from the portal to the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain.
Cold drinks, warm hot dogs, cool people and a hot fire awaited them. All for free -- courtesy of the combined kindness of Sharon "MamaGoose" Smith and Susan "Cashmere" Hornbuckle.
Trail Magic is easy to define. Just show up somewhere along the Appalachian Trail and share an unexpected gift or kindness to someone on the Trail.
Nothing heavy, please. No stuff that will draw bears or leave a mess. Snickers are always welcome. Tiny packets of hot sauce. Bic lighters. Napkins in a baggie. Salt/pepper packs. McFlurry spoons.
Anyone can give Trail Magic. Just offer a surprised hiker a random act of kindness ... before they fade away back onto the Trail.
You'll be amazed by the memories hikers give in return.
Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Hikers, appalachian trail hikers, appalachian trail magic, appalachian trail angels, and trail magic at gooch gap
Everyone has a story. Here are a few dandies we heard while doing Trail Magic at Gooch Gap.
Trail Magic -- an unexpected treat for hikers on the Appalachian Trail -- is one of the highlights of hiking the Trail. Thank God for Trail Angels!
The best trail mix is healthy, tasty and beneficial. So is this Appalachian Trail advice that will inspire you and empower you to thrive the Trail.
The view from Stecoah Gap is exquisite. Hikers are rewarded with panoramic vistas and a couple of sturdy picnic tables that are perfect for a quick meal.