By Sue Holman and Trisha Faye
Mom was in a Blue Book Funk the other day. After wading through mountains of garbage disguised as “hiking memoirs” of the Pacific Crest trail (PCT), she was ready to buy stock in Pepto-Bismol. (For more on that, see 7 Skunkers and Clunkers.)
Well. You know me. I’m a rescue dog. I’m a rescuer. It’s what I do. So I says to Mom, “Maybe you oughtta check out The Book Place. Do the search thingy. See what else is available in the PCT category.”
Weeks later, Mom finally stumbled upon Trail Angel Mama: Tales of a Pacific Crest Trail Angel. (Mom’s nothing if not quick.) At less than 100 pages, Mom almost passed it over.
“No way!” barks I! Order that puppy!’
We loved it!
Did I mention I’m a rescue dog? And totally brilliant?
Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. Trail Angel Mama is the first PCT/hiking-ish book we’ve ever awarded marks. Here’s why:
This book is told from the perspective of PCT trail angels Mike and Sue Holman. They pass out “their own special version of bounty” from their small mountain town of Wrightwood, in southern California. The book is about their experience as first year trail angels.
A “trail angel” is someone who volunteers to offer kindness to strangers hiking the PCT. This may include providing a place to stay, do laundry, shower, or cook dinner for thru hikers. It may also include picking up and dropping off hikers at trailheads when hikers call and ask for same.
Hikers from all over the country enjoyed the “trail magic” of this couple’s first year as trail angels, as documented and told by Sue Holman, aka: Trail Angel Mama.
There’s something fresh and radiant about this narrative. It bubbles with joy and delight. It’s not only unusual – thru-hiking the PCT from a Trail Angel’s viewpoint, not a hiker’s – but it’s also just plain fun! It’s chockful of heartfelt stories about different hikers, their backgrounds and experiences. Meeting new people. Making new friends. Like Burgundy. Minty Fresh. Attila the Bun.
It’s also about being available. Serving others. Being kind. Caring. Generous. Kinda like me.
A quick read, Trail Angel Mama also includes chapters on how you can be a trail angel. What to do and what not to do. Leave No Trace principles. Top 10 things the author learned as a trail angel. Handy lists of items most valued and needed by thru-hikers. Major hiking trails in the U.S. And a short list of hiker’s blogs and websites. It’s pretty cool.
We felt so uplifted and blessed by the end. Kinda like, ya know. Rescued.
Did I mention I’m a rescue dog?
Short but sweet, this one’s a keeper. Like me.