There is a notion out on the Appalachian Trail that when someone does a gratuitous kind act to help others they are "trail angels." At first this sounds a bit over dramatic, like a bad Hallmark card, but when you read about the sorts of acts of kindness and the amount of trouble folks engage in it rings true.
Well, today, with the path for Hurricane Irene centered on Worcester, MA we had just that sort of wonderful act take place.
There is a giant canvas wall tent that we set up for the summer. We use this for interns, volunteers, projects driven under cover by rain, etc. Well it is up, and it is held up by a series of 32+ ropes, and it is subject to the influence and action of the wind. 35 mph wind and a canvas wall tent are a poor combination, never mind 75 mph, and if you want to be able to use the tent again you need to get it down on the ground.
No problem, there are DAYS before the hurricane hits (assuming it hits.) Only this morning it was threatening rain, and you can't put away a wet canvas tent for the season without ruining it, and taking it down wet, and trying to set it up wet, just to dry it and take it down again, is a seriously unpleasant prospect.
But then the volunteers to work on trail signs, property signs, and timber framing arrived. Despite this being totally different, somewhat tedious, and definitely heavy, they each joined in and got the tent down dry and stored it away.
In an act of less than half an hour they save days of work, and for that, to me, this morning, they were indeed "trail angels."
Then they did an immense amount of timber work, stayed extra time, and shared great stories and camaraderie.
It was a splendid morning here at Cascading Waters.
Thank you Michele, Russ, and Ron!