This is Z Money Magic, a thru-hiker from Philly. We have been crossing paths for the past several days and got to spend time together at the Mountain Harbour Hostel in Roan Mountain, TN.
His trail name comes from his childhood nickname. He used to do magic tricks as a kid and his last name begins with a “Z”. It’s a long trail name so most people just call him “Magic”.
He is an exception among thru-hikers, falling in between the 20-Somethings and the older retired folks like me.
Magic is a biochemist who gave up a good-paying job with a pharmaceutical company to hike the Appalachian Trail. He said neither his boss, his co-workers, nor friends and family could understand why he would do such a thing.
He is very close to his family in Philly and calls his parents every day – he must have better cell coverage than me. Later in the hike he’ll get off the trail to attend his sister’s wedding.
Here’s a photo of Magic as he gets ready to head out today from Mountain Harbour. I hope to see him up the trail. He’s a good guy to be around.