I encountered trail magic in the form of cold drinks and snacks left in coolers alongside the trail, in rides to and from the trail (sometimes from people who were traveling in the opposite direction and turned around), and in the surprise of a waiter telling us that our dinner has been taken care of.
Just a week into hiking, I remember thinking "I can't WAIT to do trail magic next year!"
That become my big goal for 2014: do trail magic all year!
In the spring, I took a travel position in Roanoke, VA in order to be close to the AT. I was able to leave boxes full of the AT hiker's best friend, Little Debbie.
When my travel assignment ended, I moved north so I could continue the fun in Vermont and New Hampshire.
I learned that the only thing nicer than being called "hiker trash" was being called "trail angel."
I started thinking that as much fun as it was to provide trail magic to hikers, there really were others who were more in need of trail magic. People who were hungry not because they had just hiked 18 miles and had 4 more to go, but because they had no food. People who were living outside not because they thought it would be fun to camp for 6 months, but because they didn't have an inside to live in. People who needed an act of kindness to lift their spirits even more thank hikers.
In September I was going to an event in Newark and I decided it was the perfect time to take trail magic to a whole new level. I packed a little duffel bag I had with socks, a Tshirt and fleece I hadn't worn in a while, and some basic toiletries. Dropped a little trail magic there.
Got a big smile in return.