I met Blue Velvet and Gardener in Gorham, NH. They are south bounders also known as SOBO’s. I gave them my number and told them that I’d love to give them some trail magic when they got to the Smokies whether that meant watching their dog or bringing them a couple cokes. It’s fun and rewarding to give trail magic, I received so much and it always felt so good. It worked out perfectly. I watched their dog Sasha while they went through and met back up with them at Fontana a few days later. They are so close to finishing. Make sure you check out their blog at: http://bandofadventurers.tumblr.com/
I’ve also picked up a few more SOBO’s in Bryson City the last few days. There are not many of them but it’s so cool to see them coming through. Thru hikers have a look about them and if you see any on the streets just ask them if they are thru hikers. It’s easy, they will have back packs on and probably be holding trekking polls. Just shout out: “Are you guys thru hiking!?”. If they are, ask them if they need a ride. It’s worth helping them out. Then take just a minute and hear their story. Ask them the standard questions: What’s your trail name? What’s been your favorite part of the trail? What’s been your least? Do you need anything? Then buy them an apple. Oh, and don’t forget to take a picture and jot down their trail names. You’ll want to remember them for the next thru hikers you meet!