All along this hike, George and I
have met people. People have been so friendly, communities and individuals, they just go
out of their way to be generous and help us. And one incident in particular stands out. We
started getting messages from through-hikers as they'd be hiking past us on the trail.
They'd say, "Hey, are you the father and son, the dancer-guy? We have a message for
you...it's from Dick and Sue Kenn. They're through-hikers and when you come out
at Franconia Notch which is near their town of Lincoln, NH they want to take care of
you. They want to feed you. They want to make sure you're ok." I'm in Maine; I'm
weeks away from hitting New Hampshire and I'm getting these messages. Then a couple of
times we left the trail and we went to bed and breakfasts to wash and have a little rest
and recreation and there are messages left on bulletin boards. "Look us up when you
get to Lincoln. We're waiting for you." So, I think, alright, I'm gonna do it. And I
dial the phone number and I speak to Dick and I say "Dick, we're gonna be coming in
to Franconia Notch, coming off Lafayette Mountain, sometime in a day or so."
"Well, he says, "I'll find you. Don't worry. I'll meet you."
So George and I are heading
down this trail when up pop these two young wonderful people, Dick and Sue. They're both
through-hikers. Sue did it with her father maybe 10 or 12 years ago. Dick loved the
Appalachian Trail and when he found out that Sue was a through-hiker he went over and
introduced himself. They got married at Mt. Katahdin in the middle of a big storm, hah!
They love the AT and they love the hikers that hike it and they took such good care of us.
And before we left they gave us gators for our legs because we didn't have any. Then we
said good-bye to them and a day or two later we'd find a note in the middle of the trail
attached to a tree. "Tomorrow night you'll be on such-and-such mountain. The weather
report is not good. If there are thunderstorms, get off the ridge...good luck! Dick and
Sue". They must have found out ahead of time where we would be and maybe even on a
lot of trails there were messages that we missed. It has a magic of its own, this trail
with its white blazes and its friendship that people share as they meet and pass by each
other on this journey.
- Jacques d'Amboise