Appalachian Trail: Above and Beyond Trail Angel (day 3)

I awoke in the morning to see a text from my friend saying that she needed a day off the trail to rest and start antibiotics. We were welcome to stay with Karen and her family. Hitch hiking was one thing but I felt more vulnerable being in someone’s house. I will walk into the bush any day with wild animals but not a strangers house.

I considered staying at Dahlgren campsite and reuniting the following day with my group. I chose to go to Karen’s for two reasons: stay with my group and a large amount of rain was headed for the area and I was told that flash floods are common. Dahlgren is at the base of a large hill and I potentially could have been flooded out.

I prepared my fanny pack and had easy access to items to keep me safe. I had mace and my knife. I felt like I was resorting back to my former downtown girl ways. Mace is illigal in Canada but I carried other things for protection, many moons ago.

Karen, as she would turn out to be, was a Trail Angel Saint. Her husband, Paul and daughter, Joslyn were a blessing to meet and spend time with. They opened their gorgeous home and hearts to strangers from Canada, wondering the country side and looking for adventure.

After resting for a couple of hours, we headed into town for a late lunch at an adorable restaurant and coffee at a quaint shop.

Joslyn and Karen both told me that a couple of years ago they helped Bionic Woman (Niki Rellon) while she was thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Bionic Woman was the first woman to hike the whole Appalachian Trail with a prosthetic leg.

I chatted briefly with Joslyn about anxiety and OCD. It was nice to meet someone else who spoke openly about their mental health.

We made a delicious dinner together of burgers, sweet potato fries, carrots with butter and brown sugar, and cucumbers. Plus we had freshly brewed sweet iced tea. The cherry on top of a wonderful day was fresh baked pie and ice cream.

With thoughts of returning to the trail early in the morning, I comfortably fell asleep in a plush bed with a full stomach and full heart. All thanks to the kindness of strangers helping strangers.

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