Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pastors Rick & Julie and their fantastic trailside prayer circle


I had two burgers and three beers in me and life was good. I was trotting into the evening with a lightness in my step when I encountered a family with four teenage children heading south on the AT from a parking area on Skyline Drive.

They stopped to look at me as if they had just encountered an exotic wild animal.

Jokingly, the father asked if I was hiking all the way from Maine to Georgia. I replied that he was almost right, I'm hiking from Georgia to Maine.

"Wow, you are a thru hiker," he exclaimed. They hadn't expected to see one and I was, perhaps, the most exciting encounter of their day. So we chatted for a bit and I learned that Rick and his wife Julie were pastors from Texas. Next thing I knew, the family was standing in a circle, holding hands with me as Pastor Rick prayed for my journey.

On a usual day, that would sort of freak me out. But something about this family made me feel honored that they cared enough to stop and bless my travels. And then they gave me a moon pie. Living in the woods is tough.

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