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Trail and Travel Angels

The term "Trail Angel"comes from the long distance (Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail) "thru-hiker" community.  Thru-hikers travel very light, covering up to 35 miles a day often solo.  Trail lore has it, when a thru-hiker needs help, it will  be provided at a time of need, by a trail angel.  Thru-hikers pass along angel reports, particularly locations of Shower Angels, folks who are legends for help near resupply points.  We learned the term from a through hiker who we helped with directions a few years back at a particularly confusing trail junction on the Pacific Crest Trail above our lake place.

Last week, Katie and I were standing confused, and jet lagged after an overnight flight, in front of a ticket dispensing machine on a trolley in Amsterdam.  The ticket machine would only take euro coins, we only had bills, the trolley was rolling down the street, Katie was giving me that look of "Dad are we going to get arrested for not buying a ticket?"  With that a young man stepped up, inserted his ticket strip, explained how it worked, and said "I punched a ticket for you too".  A true "Travel Angel".

1 comment

1 Gerald Gibbons { 04.15.08 at 7:59 pm }

Rob, I was in an identical situation in Amsterdam, a young man helped me select the right currency with several of his friends standing around me. When I next reached for my wallet it was gone, picked by one of his friends. So my Angel was a Devil. I have since followed Rick Steve’s advice and always wear a money belt.

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