The Man Who Travels the Appalachian Trail and Cooks Hot Meals For the Hikers

Each year, about 3,000 hikers attempt to complete the 2,193-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. When you hike the Appalachian Trail, it’s inevitable that you will meet some pretty fascinating people along the way. None, however, are quite as fascinating as a man called Fresh Ground. His real name is Tim Davis and he’s been a “trail angel” for over a decade. His Leapfrog CafĂ© might be found anywhere along the trail, but he typically sets up early in the hiking season in Georgia and then “leapfrogs” north several times, staying at various spots for about 10 days at a time. Fresh Ground says he felt a tugging at his heart to do something for his fellow man and decided that feeding hikers was his calling. Every morning at 4:30, he gets up and makes himself a cup of coffee, then reads his Bible and spends some time with God in prayer and meditation. Then he gets to work on the fare of the day. He feeds an average of 40 people a day from a makeshift tent where he hands out breakfast, lunch and dinner. Menu items include things like grilled cheese sandwiches, vegetable soup, chili, burritos, spaghetti, and burgers, to name a few. Not only does he provide a hot meal and good hospitality to every hiker he meets, Fresh Ground also has USB chargers protruding through the side of his van with a shelf welded onto the side, so hikers can charge their phones while they eat. A few hikers in the beginning set Fresh Ground up with a tip jar. With the extra cash he receives, he manages to replenish his food supply on as little as $70 a day, which can feed a lot of hikers. One thing Fresh Ground says he's learned throughout this whole experience: “It’s great to be called, but awesome to be used."