My old friend Olive Oyl (or Double Oh as I used to call her) and her hiking partner, Wet Bag, are hitting the NY301/Fahnestock State Park road crossing today, so I’m doing what any normal buddy would do: TRAIL MAGIC AND LAUNDRY/SHOWERS!
It’s a much nicer day than the last time I was here to see Stink Bug and Honey Bun; it was positively ~95°F. Today’s a manageable 75°F and low humidity, but I’m sure they’ll still smell like ass. It’s amazing to realize how much I must have reeked while I was on the AT, but I just never noticed. Those poor town folk in GA/NC/TN/VA lol! I’m sure hot showers and laundry will bring smiles to their faces… it feels really good to give back, and I’m looking forward to catching up with OO!
I’ve been keeping tabs on quite a few AT thru-hikers through their journals, and amongst them, a good buddy by the name of Postman.
Postman and I met at Fontana Village and shared an outside table at the Wildwood Grill with Tye Dan and Captain Dan; burgers, fries, and beer – a proper hiker’s lunch.
I’d kept in touch with quite a few of my old hiker friends and had always said that I’d be happy to provide trail magic once they hit the New York section – specifically the Fahnestock / NY301 crossing at mile marker 1.417 – there’s a parking area by both entrances to the AT and it’s also pretty close to where I live. Postman and I had kept in touch via text messages for the last couple of months so I knew both where he was, and what his ETA in New York was going to be. I’d offered trail magic, and was proud to deliver.
As I rolled up at around 8:45am I saw him standing there, but a much skinnier and ripped version of what I remembered. The epic Georgia beard was growing in nicely – we high fived, back slapped, and we wheel spun off the gravel and onto the Taconic State Parkway for food and showers.
It was only about 9:30am by the time we got back to my place and I handed over a fresh towel so he could shower – I remember how amazing they felt after hiking in your own filth for days at a time. We headed out to a local diner for burgers and fries after that, and then back to my place to get his laundry sorted. We caught up and shared trail stories whilst watching episodes of Top Gear (British version of course) – it felt great talking about the trail again and hearing of his adventures. Postman is the most northerly AT friend I have, and I am very proud of him and his achievement thus far – incredible.
After laundry we hopped back in the car and it was another drive back to NY301 and back to the AT for Postman.
I have to say, I’m totally envious of him, and I let him know. Not in a jealous way at all, but envious that he has experienced so much more of the trail than I have – and given the ~330 miles of my own were the best times of my life, I can only imagine how life altering those extra miles would have been for me.
You can show your support of Postman and his journey by following his Flickr journal here.