Trail Angels

By Chappy Jack

Mile: 274.6

Location: Hot Springs, NC

Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for so by doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

In the world that we live in today, it is difficult to trust people, especially strangers.

On the trail, I continuously ask myself where this high level of trust in the Hiker community comes from. How could people that are so different have such a trusting bond?

A similar aspect of the trail is Trail Angels that provide Trail Magic. I received my first trail magic in the form of a free shuttle to start my hike at Springer Mountain in Georgia. The 2017 AT Chaplain, Matt “Trigger” Hall, had made a friend on his 2017 thru hike. This same friend is the Trail Angel who gave me the free shuttle.

Only a half mile into my hike, the Stay Young group of Ellijay, Georgia gave me trail magic in the form of a granola bar. It is amazing and uplifting to come to a trailhead and to find a Trail Angel grilling hot dogs and hamburgers and to sit with other hikers and just enjoy.

Have I ever entertained an angel without knowing it? I hope so! If I haven’t, I hope that through the trail that I will become more trusting of people. Maybe, just maybe, one of those people will be an angel.

Lord Jesus, help me to trust people more, but especially to trust you more!

Sunrise after a rainy night.
Snow a few days ago and, now, signs of spring. It’s possible that I will have more winter to come.
Thousands of pinkish white flowers.

Atop Max Patch. The summit was cleared for cattle and is maintained as a bald. I removed my hat to prove that you really don’t have to do a lot to maintain baldness.
One view from Max Patch. Max Patch provides a 360-degree view.

Slip and Slide

Chappy Jack

April 3, 2019

Location: Newfound Gap, border of North Carolina and Tennessee

Mile: 207.7

Psalm 94: 18-19 When I said, my foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

I awoke yesterday to a beautiful snowy morning. However, I knew that my plans for the day included climbing Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Great Smokey Mountains.

The climb with the elevation and the snow was very enjoyable. I was not surprised that the 360-degree view from Clingmans Dome was clouded over since it was still snowing when I arrived.

Chappy Jack along the AT near the North Carolina/Tennessee border.

I was very surprised when I started my descent on my way for another six miles to Newfound Gap.

The snow had very quickly turned to ice that was very difficult to see. Falling is common on the AT, and I fell a total of 4 times. Thank God, no injuries. I arrived safely to Newfound Gap.

In Psalm 94, the Psalmist writes of the Lord’s love supporting him when his foot was slipping. My literal feet were slipping yesterday, but I believe the Psalmist is speaking of anxiety as he talks about the Lord’s consolation in verse 19.

Thankfully, we have God’s Holy Spirit who is our Peace! He is the Peace that passes all understanding!


The snow can be miserable. However, I can’t get used to its beauty.

Trail magic. Hot coffee. Much needed! Much appreciated!