If you have never hiked the Appalachian Trail before or any trail for that matter, you might be wondering how Hansel and Gretel are finding their way through the woods. Well, every so often, they pass a trail marker, or a white blaze, much like the one in the picture below, assuring them that they are still on the path. This has been working very well so far, and aside from the one time when Gretel went South instead of North on the trail, they have not gotten lost yet. Today, however, they were not so lucky.
White Blaze... you can see Gretel in the background
Somehow, they managed to take a very wrong turn and ended up falling off the trail… literally… and practically tumbled down the side of the mountain! Once their downward momentum slowed, they had a choice to make: Attempt to climb back up the mountain to the trail, or bushwack (bushwacking means to trudge through uncut, unmarked woods making your own messy path as you go and hope you end up somewhere convenient without getting poison ivy) their way back to where the trail picks up at the bottom of the mountain. They decided to bushwack.
They ended up finding another trail that led them to a road at the base of the mountain. They were both exhausted and a little traumatized by their mountainous fall, not to mention completely clueless about where they were. Gretel wondered if someone would help them if she worked up some tears.
“I really just feel like crying right now, so maybe that could get us something. Lemonade? A seat on someone’s couch?” She was feeling pretty desperate.
Just then, they spotted an Appalachian Trail sign with a house right next to it. As they approached, a person came out of the house and greeted them.
“So, you here to here to stay at the hostel?” The person asked. I guess no tears were necessary. Not knowing where they actually were, Hansel and Gretel inquired about their location. Apparently, they had walked right to the front steps of a hostel that had just reopened and was so new, it hadn’t even made it into the AT Guide Book yet. What luck! They had made it to Catawba, found a hostel, and now could relax until tomorrow when they would meet Dad! The Death March is over!
Until next time, happy trails!
And here are a few pictures of the trail friends Hansel and Gretel have spotted along the way: