Trail Angels


This is George Lightcap.  He’s been running hikers up and down the Trail from NJ for 20 years. He’s a 2,000 Miler. He thru hiked the AT some years ago and hikes large sections even now from time to time, when he’s not teaching a class at the local Community College. He’s a retired teacher like me. That’s where our similarity ends. George is the real deal. A true Trail Angel. 

He has shuttled me twice now when I’m by myself and need to hike in the NJ area. I asked him what he charges and that’s when I found out his true Angel status. He said, “Whatever you want to give me.” When pressed, I found out really who he was, “Doug,” he said, “I’ve been doing this for 20 years. Really, what ever you think is fair is ok with me.” He meant that. 

Not only does he pick me up early at my car and shuttle me to my starting point, but he becomes my dad. “Do you have your keys? Do you have your toilet paper?” And so on. Then he says, “Shoot me a text when you’re back safe, will you?  And if you get stuck or anything, call.”  

It was the same deal with Rhonda in Harper’s Ferry.  Another Angel. 

These two are really something. They are what makes the Trail what the trail is. A beautiful Community of, not just people, but like family. 

I go up there and suffer because of people like George. And people like John and Gates and Linda and Kelly and Birthday Girl. And so many others I have met and will meet. I think I go there for a bunch of reasons. I’m still working that out, but people is definitely one. People like George. 

Thank you George. See you soon. 

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