My New Bestie Bob

Low Branch and Bob

I’m running scared when I come near towns these days. I am afraid that the locals are going to be at the town line with their pitchforks out warding off hikers. This is not a joke since we hear that is what has happened recently in a Bland, Virginia. Not sure what to believe but fortunately my experiences have been just the opposite. Today, I hiked 20 miles to meet my friend Bob who lives in Marion, Virginia and is a fellow endurance junkie. Bob was doing Ironman races before they were cool and has even traveled around the world to do some amazing multi-day adventure races.

Sweet Virginia morning

Bob is a big believer in my hike and has been so supportive all along. His posts make me smile and he was eager to help us out as we came into Marion. I was a couple of hours early into the shelter and I texted him just to let him know that I had arrived. Within a few minutes he was here bearing homemade cookies and a cooler full of cold Cokes. This guy really knows what you want after a long day on the trail.


Bob took all of our dirty laundry and is going to deliver it back to us clean at the next road crossing tomorrow. He took me into town for a resupply trip to Wal-Mart and gave me a really helpful tour of the store pointing out where I could find all the hiker type food in a hurry. I loaded up with a good weeks worth of food and a few treats to bring back to the shelter. Wal-Mart was a little surreal. I shopped wearing a bandana and buff and people seemed to jump out of the way if you got too close. I tried to smile a lot (a least with my eyes) but the tension was palpable. When we got back we ordered a pizza, salad and carrot cake to be delivered and met the delivery guy down by the road.

Waiting for the pizza, salad and carrot cake dude by the side of the road

But wait – there’s more! When he meets us tomorrow with our clean laundry he is bringing us McDonalds! It has been so sweet to soak up Bob’s generous spirit. I imagine that he has been supported like this in all of his crazy adventures and he is paying it forward in a big way. We haven’t had trail magic in a while and it’s not something that I expect these days. Still, I feel all warm inside when someone wants to to be so kind. These things don’t happen in the real world too often but the trail brings the best out in people.

Not as cool as a Pony but still pretty cool

So, no pitchforks yet but just a lot of smiles and helpful friends in Virginia paving our way towards Maine. We all want things to get better out there soon but in the meantime rest assured that good people like Bob are out there doing terrific things for dirty thru hikers. I guess that is something.

9 thoughts on “My New Bestie Bob

  1. Indeed Bob is a real trail Angel with a lot of trail magic. Had to phone Bob last night and thank him for his kindness and generosity. What a special friend. Have a great day and be safe. Mailing your package today. Love and hugs.


  2. No big deal, no problem. Always happy to help those testing themselves. Great fun to hangout with adventurers that are great people too. You and mallwalker have the attitude to endure and get this done. Have the time of your life.


  3. Man I’m sorry that I couldn’t convince you guys to stay at the house last night. I just hope you made it to and stayed in the shelter last night. The storm last night and this morning were intense. Call if you guys need anything. Stay strong.


  4. Sun has come up this am. Make big cup of French press coffee and get after those miles and smiles. Have a great day.


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