Last night was magical. Sid is onboard with entertaining. He must’ve learned something from hanging with Grandpa for the past two months. One of the hikers he met yesterday, Blue Sky, he’s a native of Montana was walking around aimlessly. He was cold as his shorts were wet and was in need of warmth. Sid started a fire, allowed on the AT, in our designated campsite fire ring. Then went looking for Blue Sky. He couldn’t find him but before long we had several other hikers looking for an active fireside chat room. Hot Dish, SeaLegs & Night Owl, and Shine joined the warming station.
We all ate dinner as Sid kept the fire stoked. He has a way of making others feel welcome. Shine, the youngest of the group, maybe 20’s started his hike May 8th. He’s fast. Sid liked talking with him and as Hiker Midnight came upon us, he told Shine he’d see him tomorrow. Shine laughed and said probably not. He does 20-25 miles daily and will be far ahead. But if you want to hike with me, be ready at 6am and we can hike together. Sid said great!
Morning came and before my alarm went off at 5:30am, Sid was up and packing. Then after getting all his gear in his pack, he started a fire to stay warm till Shine showed up. Promptly Shine arrived and the boys were off.
I meandered until 7am and never saw them. The trail was pretty nice today, just one little climb and mostly ridge walking. I stopped a few times for breaks, saw two big gardener snakes, and a deer with her fawn. Tons of birds flew overhead greeting me along the way and around 1:30pm I received a text from Sid. Where are you? I’m at the Hostel. Evidently Sid had already hiked the days miles, took the turnoff and had arrived at Woods Hole Hostel. I was quite impressed as he did 15 miles in less than 6 hours!
By the time I made it to the Hostel, Sid already had us checked in and he was relaxing on the porch with Pirate, Stormy, Tippy-Toes and Unicorn. For someone who doesn’t like backpacking, he sure is adjusting well! Once I settled, Sid took my backpack to our Safari Tent.
Woods Hole is the oldest Hostel on the AT and billed as the one you must visit. The granddaughter Neville has carried on the tradition that her grandparents Roy & Tillie Wood started in 1986. As a kid, she spent her summers helping the hikers who wandered by and fell in love with the 1880’s Chestnut Log Cabin. What is there not to admire? This place has charm that you cannot buy. It is a working farm with goats and pigs, an organic garden that supply’s all the fresh produce that the meals are prepared from and so much more. Once you arrive you are offered a Smoothis, and Fresh Bread with three different choices of cheese, along with hand whipped butter and apple-butter. This place is going to be hard to leave. Everyday at 4pm, there is yoga on the lawn, a blessing before the meal and the freshest dinner on the trail. It is such a peaceful place and one I will never forget!
I am so thankful for the turn of events. Lord, you saw what I didn’t. You have opened my eyes to this time with my grandson that will be a lifetime memory for the both of us. I have seen Sid take on something that he truly did not sign up for. When we all stood around this afternoon and introduced ourselves and gave thanks for something, Sid was thankful for the animals he has seen. He has captured snakes, frogs, crawdads and salamanders. He is fascinated with the critters around here and I’m sure when Grandpa arrives, he will be fishing for trout. Dinner will never taste so good. It’s been a treat watching him interact with the other hikers and being his own person. My Sidekick is pretty darn special!
Thank you Jesus for this incredible child of God who knows you, loves you and has this passion for people and animals. I admire the fact that a teenage boy can be so at home in a place that is so far away from where he came. What a gift it is to watch him grow!
“To the end that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
Psalms 30:12 NIV