Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 30, 2014

Three Men and a Dog | 3

Thru-Hiking the Lone Star Hiking Trail

Every ounce matters when you have to carry all of your provisions on your back over a period of several days. Whether you are walking on a flat trail or trudging up a gentle quarter-mile incline, after a while you begin to feel the accumulated pounds in your pack. That’s why we were especially careful about the weight of our food and how much water we would need in order to prepare our meals and to stay adequately hydrated. Food and water weigh a lot.

Needless to say, we set off with the basics — stuff like oatmeal for breakfast, Cliff bars for lunch, dehydrated hiker meals for our evening meal plus a limited number of snacks to give us mid-morning and mid-afternoon boosts. Packets of tea and hot chocolate were a special treat that we absolutely enjoyed. No complaints. We looked forward to and enjoyed every meal along the way. The dehydrated hiker meals were actually much tastier than I imagined and gave us a huge calorie boost each evening.

Doyle Jessica Bill
On our third day of hiking we got off the trail and took a detour into Huntsville State Park in order to get water. When we arrived at the park headquarters we asked about the location of the park store and the showers. When we learned that the store and showers were more than a mile away our hearts sank a bit because we did not have the discretionary time to go there and make it back to the trail in time to continue toward our next campsite. The park ranger must have sensed something and asked a ranger named Jessica to drive us to the store and the showers. What a fantastic act of kindness.

HSP Facebook
Jessica was so excited to meet us. She wants to hike the trail next year and had lots of questions. We were more excited to meet Jessica and could not thank her enough for taking the time to shuttle us around the park. She was a true Trail Angel, a term that describes those who do unexpected acts of kindness for thru-hikers. After we purchased and consumed an assortment of snacks and took some time to clean up, Jessica drove us to the point where we had left the trail. We thanked her again and then set off toward our next campsite several miles down the trail.

Connie Text
On our fifth day on the trail Doyle and I received a text message from Connie Straus from Coldspring, Texas. We had met Connie at Nanny’s Cafe the previous week when we were in the area to cache water. Connie told us not to be surprised if she showed up with a plate of brownies when we stopped to camp at Double Lake Campground. Connie texted to tell us that she and Nanny would be there to meet us with brownies. When we got up on Wednesday morning all we could think about were those brownies and how good they would taste after a day on the trail.

Brownie Ladies
Late Wednesday afternoon, after we had set up our campsite, Connie and Nannie showed up with brownies. And they also brought a special dog treat for Paxton. God blessed us through two more Trail Angels. Their presence, words of encouragement, and thoughtful act of kindness energized us. These sweet ladies not only took the time to bake the brownies but to deliver them as well. Little did we know how much we would need the extra calories when we decided to complete our hike the following day because of the rain. We hiked 21 miles, mostly in the rain, on Thursday. The Lord knew we needed the extra food.

Bill and Doyle and I (and Paxton) are grateful for our Trail Angels — Jessica, Connie, and Nanny. The kindness expressed to us by these ladies reminds me that each of us should look for opportunities to be Trail Angels to weary travelers, wherever we might meet them. So many people are hungering for any act of thoughtfulness and kindness. And it just might be that the kindness we show is what they need to help them make it a little farther down the road. I came home more determined to look for those daily opportunities to be a Trail Angel.

Oh, and special thanks to Evergreen Baptist Church in Coldspring. This church is located along the Lone Star Hiking Trail and offers free water to hikers. Evergreen Baptist Church is also a Trail Angel for giving refreshing water in Jesus’ name to weary travelers!


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