Day 19 - A Big Bear Hug and AT Family Reunion

I slept so well in Papa Smurf's bunkhouse and woke up to French Toast and other culinary delights. 

Yes, that is a bacon covered donut. 

Yes, that is a bacon covered donut. 

We took a couple of group pictures and shared many hugs before being whisked back to the trail. 

What a crew! 

What a crew! 

Big thanks to Papa Smurf and Mountain Mama for sharing so much with us and always offering more. Their seemingly endless energy and generosity introduced me to a new level of giving and the beauty that grows in such fertile soil.

They picked up their first hiker in 2012 and have opened their doors ever since. They have hosted over 160 hikers this year, sharing 3 meals a day with anyone who calls or shows up at their door. 

They picked up their first hiker in 2012 and have opened their doors ever since. They have hosted over 160 hikers this year, sharing 3 meals a day with anyone who calls or shows up at their door. 

In the words of Papa Smurf, "God gives you certain gifts and provides opportunities to use them."

A man on a mission. 

A man on a mission. 

It felt great to be back on the trail, my feet healed and easily a few pounds heavier.

The trail was dry but the surrounding mountain peaks were beautifully covered in snow.

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I hiked through a fragrant pine forest, the trail covered in duff. 

  It felt like I was walking on pillows.

 

It felt like I was walking on pillows.

And smelled richly of vanilla. 

And smelled richly of vanilla. 

There was a big box on the trail. 

There was a big box on the trail. 

And it contained a massive supply of goodies. 

And it contained a massive supply of goodies. 

People can be so good to each other. One shared moment can grow into something that touches countless lives and brings to life to new forms of beauty. It's called "trail magic" out here but it happens everywhere. All it seems we have to do is be willing to participate.

Even the rockiest soil is capable of producing generous forms of beauty. 

Even the rockiest soil is capable of producing generous forms of beauty. 

To cap off this wonderful day, a day I surpassed the 10% mark on the trail and was the giver and recipient of many hugs, I reunited with three of my friends from the Appalachian Trail and hiked the last few miles of the day, shared dinner, and camped with them beneath the glow of the heavens.

Smiley, LostnFound, and St. Croix. 

Smiley, LostnFound, and St. Croix. 

Here is a video of us relaxing at the end of the day. 

<3 Will