What do you get when you blend a seasoned guide; 12 novice female backpackers; 30 pound backpacks (including a few luxury items); 100+ continuous hours in nature; sunlit tree canopies; starry skies; fierce rain, thunder & lightening; campfires; bearscat pudding & lots of chocolate; a magical fairy forest; nurse trees; interesting thru hikers such as XL, Stoke, Legolas, Kyle, Forest & Flow (who carry musical instruments & a hula hoop); skinny dipping in a mountain stream; hiking 25 miles over varied terrain up to over 5000 feet elevation; discovering local fauna such as hawk weed, mountain laurel & tiny strawberries; learning how to hang a bear bag, heat ‘hot water’ and filter water; yummy dehydrated dinners; ponies; fern pheromones & dewy earth smells; fresh air; vistas of the mountains as far as Tennessee; shelters at Mount Rodgers, Hurricane & Wise; privies with a view & duff; camaraderie; a Ridge Runner; two truths and a lie & celebrity games; slip knots; creating trail names; chanting the Trail Goddess mantra; navigating Fat Man Squeeze and Rhododendron Gap; pack explosions; lots of rocks; penguin dancing; encouragement and tons of patience? It’s called Trail Magic. That was my recent experience with Adventures in Good Company‘s Intro to Backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. Just as advertised, I feel confident to hit the trail again solo or with some of my companions on this path. Already looking forward to my next adventure and more ‘magic’.