Sunday, January 27, 2008
Trail magic is the confluence of human kindness and opportunity which repeats itself with stunning regularity when you dedicate yourself to any type of oddessy. It happens when you stop living in the ”burbs,” ignorant of your neighbors and scared to walk the streets of your incredibly safe city and instead throw yourself on the mercy of complete strangers. It arrives when you knock on doors, show up in small towns with no place to stay, and start believing that the world is not really out to get you.
Trail magic is coming into a small town in the middle of nowhere on July 4th and being invited to pitch your tent in the mayor's backyard. Encouraged to spend the afternoon at the community center/library gorging at the town potluck on BBQ, homemade potato salad, and thickly frosted chocolate cake. Obligated to spend the evening sipping cold ones while the police and fire chiefs argue at your back on the order to set off the fireworks.
Trail magic is homemade lemonade on the front lawn in Virginia when the temperature is nearing a 100 and the humidity is close to the same.
Trail magic is Pepsi and fresh baked cookies on a porch in Illinois one afternoon while you wait out a nasty summer thunderstorm.
You see trail magic when you spend the day toiling down a hot, dusty blue highway watching vintage cars drive by, then arrive at your destination to find it the rally point for cars from all over the state . As you walk down the streets full of Mustangs and Fords, hot rods and Model Ts, you listen to the music, munch on elephant ears and roasted corn, and thank the trail magic gods.
The magic radiates from the 78–year-old man and his daughter traveling east bound in three-week increments, not allowed to do the entire trip in one summer because the man's wife just couldn't spare her husband for any longer. It glows in the eyes of a couple who run a cafe in eastern Colorado and beats quickly in the tempo of the stunningly gorgeous young man with hard thighs and a ready smile who is doing the trip in 4 weeks at 200 miles a day.
The trail is the journey. The journey is the destination. The magic is opening yourself to the possibilities.