Every year we experience such great support from "Trail Angels". Those anonymous ones that may leave cache's of food and water at the most appropriate place and time or those we meet in person that may offer food at a trail head, a ride to a town for resupply, a friendly word of encouragement.......or.....those special trail angels that just go WAY ABOVE and BEYOND to help out and support an AT long distance hiker. That person, or I should say that family, we had the pleasure to meet and spend some time with this year really deserved a page of their own. Our TRAIL FAMILY OF THE YEAR!



Sara and her husband Tom, son Zach and daughter Ryleigh were such gracious hosts for MacGyver and I for 2 days and nights at their home that certainly left a memorable impression on us.

So the backstory on how we happened to meet Sara and her family? She actually worked with my daughter Shannon while both of their families lived in Vermont a few years ago and they became close friends. When Shannon told her that MacGyver and I may be hiking close to her home (which is in Knoxville, MD now), she was very willing and excited to invite us to stay with them......for as long as we wanted.....to take a break from sleepng on the ground, eating trail food and using the privy....(in the woods). Well....it took us less than a second (maybe shorter) to say YES and THANK YOU! And what a treat it was! Home cooked meals, a soft bed to sleep in (in our own rooms!), and most of all, a great host family.

Ohh...what great meals we had!

....And a lot of laughs and smiles!

Sara on the left and my daughter Shannon on the right.

But then the great time did not end there! Sara, we found out, loves the outdoors, especially hiking, AND wants to LASH or Thru hike the AT some day. Soooo, MacGyver and I thought...maybe Sara and her son Zach may want to put in a few miles with us. Didn't take them long to say YES either! So we stayed an extra day and night and slack packed the second day. What a fun day with our Maryland AT "Tramily"!

You can tell that Sara and Zach are seasoned hikers. I was always behind them and had to rush to keep up!

MacGyver and I even gave Zach a trail name if he so chooses to accept it: "ZPack"!

Now we need to think of a trail name for Sara!

"Zpack" getting ready for the Rocks in PA!

A great big shout out and thank you to

the Ryan Family!!