Wow. Where do I begin?
Last year (during a hike that eventually ended on a sour note), right before I got to Sam’s Gap, I came upon a large granite (I think) monument from the Moye Family, which I mentioned in an earlier post. I was kind of surprised to find that it wasn’t included in any of the guidebooks, and mused that such a monument, dedicated to hikers from a family who willingly gave up property for others to enjoy, should be duly recognized.
Well, just so happens that someone who knows one of the family members read my blog, and apparently so did one of the Moye family. There’s no way for me to actually put into words how these two simple little messages lifted my spirits.
Up and down the trail, there are scores of people who are known, by name, to other hikers for the trail maintenance, assistance, shuttles, and other forms of trail magic they provide, but little is ever said about the unseen property owners who see the opportunity to provide for the greater good. Down in the “southern quarter” (first 500-600 miles of the AT where all my hiking has been), everyone has heard of Miss Janet, Ron Haven, Bob Peoples, Uncle Johnny, Bob “Sir Packs-a-Lot” Gabrielson, et al. But the folks who relinquished land to the USFS are never heard of.
Just as I appreciate the backbreaking work that the trail maintainers do, I appreciate the ones who allow the weary hiker to receive a bit of inspiration from their gift to us, and maybe in the future we can pay them back by paying the good deed forward. The hike that ended prematurely and made me question myself ended up inspiring me 9 months later.
Thank you, Mr. Moye, for your gift. It did not go unnoticed.