Being invited to speak at the 2nd annual “Spring on Springer” Dahlonega Trail Festival sparked a chain of events that propelled me forward to be standing on a mountaintop today with my sweetheart, the Appalachian Trail our journey. And thus the trail magic begins.
My old friend and co-author Johnny Molloy recommended me as a speaker, which got Tom Lamb, who coordinates the event, to get in touch. Once I agreed to head north, I asked JK, who’d already been planning a thru, if he’d like a ride. A month later, it became a hike for two, and we’ve been planning ever since.
Friends from FTA, now Georgia residents, Virginia and Greg Lane, offered to help us get to the festival and the trail. Other lovely folks in town carted us carless, homeless hikers around.
And now we”re here. Today’s extra sparkle of trail magic was the best omen. We forgot a lighter, and a kind person at the outfitters tent handed us one.
We’d spent the weekend sitting next to Gene Espy, the second person ever to thru-hike the AT, and he did it before we were born. His son-in-law handed us a book and chased us down to make sure Gene inscribed it. We’ll ship it home, of course, but what a sendoff! The positive mojo propelled us right up that first mountain.