I love this quote… and in the hiking and backpacking world, this is known as “trail magic.”
You find some water cached in the middle of nowhere that someone drove out and left for hikers.
It’s an unexpected random BBQ a few miles off the trail in an unexpected location.
It’s a kind stranger pulled off the side of the dirt road with a cooler full of beverages or chilled fruit and giving them to hikers.
It’s giving someone one of your instant coffee packets because you always pack a few extra.
It’s passing off a map to someone because you tend to carry 2 anyway.
It’s letting a stranger take a pic of your tide table because they chose to hike the Lost Coast without one.
It’s dropping off through hikers at a nearby town because trail magic.
In 2018, we were hiking a stretch of the PCT that required us to traverse about 10 miles of dirt and rough offroad terrain. When we parked our truck on the “endpoint” of our journey, it hadn’t occurred to us that our friend who was driving to the “starting point” was in a car without 4WD and definitely wouldn’t make it up the terrain. Oopsie.
So we started the drive and about 3 miles short of our destination and probably at least 1,000 feet of elevation gain to go, we resorted to parking our friend’s car safely off the side of the road, throwing on our packs and hoofing it up.
And then… the strangest thing happened. In the middle of nowhere, where we were, along comes a 4WD Jeep with a happy young couple, who shared they were looking for the town of Quincy. They asked if we knew where it was. Now mind you, it’s like 6:30 in the morning on a Saturday! Talk about Divine timing.
Jason offered to show them our offline maps and how to get back to get to Quincy and then asked if they would be willing to drive us the few miles up to our starting point… the answer was a YES! and we quickly got in and cannot tell you the gratitude we had in our hearts for this couple’s kindness.
So I wholeheartedly agree with this quote and we call it by a slightly different name of “trail magic.”