A day in Hiker Heaven

Total PCT miles 454.4 – Hike Heaven, Agua Dulce, CA

Hello from Agua Dulce, California! And happy first day of June!

Today we are taking a zero day at what’s known in the PCT world as Hiker Heaven a trail-side oasis at the home of Donna and Jeff Saufley. Donna, Jeff and their team of volunteers are trail angels extraordinaire with ALL they do to help hikers recharge and resupply before heading onto the Los Angeles aqueduct and Mojave Desert section of the trail.

This is a stretch of the PCT that winds through a fair amount of private land or along roadsides. Water is scarce and nice places to camp aren’t well spaced to accommodate the average distances that hikers walk at this point along the trail.  All the more reason to appreciate Donna, Jeff and Hiker Heaven.

These people are truly inspiring and generous to give of their home and time to help hikers. I mean Donna does our laundry (hundreds of hikers’ dirty, smelly technical fabrics)… and she’s really good at it. Your clothes come back to you smelling of momma love. Volunteers like John Deere drive down from Seattle for 2-3 weeks to live in a camper and shuttle hikers to and from REI and other town necessities. These amazing volunteers help hikers day in and day out for a couple of months each year. What’s one day or so for us hikers, is like a Groundhog’s Day (yay for marmots!) of helping happy dirty hikers over and over for them. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! It’s indeed inspiring to know and experience the love and generosity of so many people wanting to help us take a long walk.

Here at Hiker Heaven, we indeed have everything we need: delicious milkshakes from The Sweetwater Cafe, showers, laundry, our resupply box, an oven to bake cookies, cheese(!), margaritas(!!), Internet to update trail journals(!!!) and the camaraderie of fellow hikers. Gabriel and I slept in (for me that equated to 6:30, for Gabriel that equaled 8:30), breakfasted at The Sweetwater Cafe (for our 2nd round of milkshakes) AND solved the mystery of the vanishing RockLocks and Mr. Fox! As we were finishing breakfast with our friend Garfunkel at the cafe, RockLocks and Mr. Fox showed up on the porch of the restaurant. Turns out we’d been overlapping and missed each other for the last four days. It’s RockLocks’ birthday today (Happy Birthday RockLocks!) so we’ll be baking her a little treat. 🙂

About the only thing we can do to show appreciation while we’re here at Hiker Heaven is to replace the old sponges in the hiker kitchen and to help with a few chores (like stomping the trash).

The rest of today will equate to more eating, resting, typing and chatting with fellow hikers. Another glorious day living the PCT life.

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