I spent four very long days on the trail confusing people, no doubt by my birth name, Crystal Gail. I’d introduce myself as such, and of course, I would be asked any of the following: “What song did I sing to get that name, “Was this before you shaved your head,” or my favorite, “Please tell me how that became your trail name?” My response was simple: shortly after my birth, I was given that name.

Though many people here on the trail call me Crystal Gail, CG, Welcome, or a mix of whatever they can remember, a few hikers have chosen something different.

After being stung by a bee a few hours into my first day, two British hikers wanted to name me stingy. Nope!

The following day, after waitressing in exchange for housing, I was called ‘awesome.’ There was no way anyone would believe I didn’t come up with that name out for myself, especially since I refer to myself as awesome all the time. I reluctantly said no.

After declining that trail name, someone suggested I be named ‘Server.’ There are so many negative connotations with that title. I vetoed the title, tried to explain why it was inappropriate. I can’t say for sure that the hikers well received my explanation that suggested the title.

The following day several people needed help with various things: directions, shakedown questions ( I’ve been shaken down so much I think I’m a master now – my base weight is 13, that’s including my neuro patient programmer that’s 1.5 pounds), and logistical questions about shipping items home.

I started to offer suggestions to help my fellow hikers, ultimately finding solutions to many of the worries that most hikers faced.

A young man from the night before said to me, ‘You’re right, Server doesn’t fit, you’re a giver. You’re “The Giver”; thus, I am “The Giver.”

I’ve been informed that ‘The Giver’ is an excellent read. After all, it’s worthy enough to be listed in the top 100 books of all time. I have not read “The Giver,” but I plan to someday.

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