When a hiker walks from Mexico to Canada it is not a solitary act. There are many people-most never known to the wanderer-who have made the dream and the journey possible.
For me, the most emotionally moving and powerful moments on the trail, came not from the inspiring vistas but from the realization of the accumulative and monumental efforts that created the PCT and the community that sustains it today. From the first trail visionaries, explorers and trail builders, to the natural resource managers and conservationists whose persistence and commitment (segment-by-segment) created and now maintain the PCT. From the generosity of trail angels-be they established legends, kind unknown providers of a cold drink, or the impromptu offer of a place to stay the night. So many acts of kindness, compassion, generosity, and love of others. As another hiker so aptly noted in a trail register, “Hiking the PCT is restoring my faith in humanity.”
And so, Gabriel and I would like to acknowledge, with much gratitude, people who helped us fulfill our dream of being PCT thru-hikers. Their acts of kindness are some of our best memories of life on the trail. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Resupplies: First off, MANY, Many, many thanks to Boni Deal-Gabriel’s mom-for being our resupply person! Our packages were always where they were supposed to be and had delightful surprises to remind us we were loved back home.
Trail angels who hosted us: Scout and Frodo, Mike on Chuhuahua Valley Road, the Johnson Family of Wrightwood, the Saufley’s of Hiker Heaven, Joe and Terrie Anderson of Casa de Luna, Hikertown, Tom of Kennedy Meadows, Jim Lutz and the Yosemite Forest Dynamics Plot crew, Kristin and Russ of Lee Vining, the Williams Family of Honker Pass, Bill and Margaret of the Red Moose Cafe in Sierra City, Bill and Molly of Pooh Corner near Donner Pass, Kennedy Meadows Resort, Andy of the Davison Street Guest House in Mammoth, Emily in Bend, Grandma Dungan near the Columbia River, Snojammers near Naches Pass, and the Dinsmore’s Hiker Haven in Baring.
Givers of trail magic: Blue Butterfly and One Step for use of their bear canisters, Jan and Sherpa Jim for a pre-PCT embarking feast, Sissors Crossing and Third Gate water suppliers, the Idyllwild spring cleaner, the crew at the Mesa Wind Farm near Palm Springs, Fritz and Ethyl of Team Turtle near Silverwood Lake, Joanna and the TrailRatz cache near the San Andreas Fault, the Sobo Hobos: Barrelroll, Moosie and Mike, Halfstep for the Cokes and ice cream sandwiches, the assisting trail angels at the Saufley’s: John Deere, Uber and Bristlecone, Early Girl and Water Boy for the ice cream at Hiker Town, the Walker Pass extravaganza thanks to Warner Springs Monty, Okie Girl and Canadug, Dr. Sole at Kennedy Meadows for feasts and foot care, Bristlecone and Uber’s Onion Valley TH assistance, the Welcome to Oregon cooler, Ed and Billie of Drakesbad Guest Ranch, to the police officer at Drakesbad who let us borrow his screw driver to fix Gabriel’s pole and gave us fresh fruit, Piper’s Mom’s cooler and fresh fruit near Chester, Nurse Katie’s sodas, salad and grill at Humboldt Summit, the postmaster in Belden who let us raid the hiker box even though the PO had closed and she was running late for a meeting, the Carsons Pass Forest Service volunteers for fresh fruit, Meadow Mary for the Ebbetts Pass treats, Margaret and Red Moose Cafe for patching Gabriel’s pants, Larry and Lucy’s friends at Kennedy Meadows North, Patt (w/two T’s) at the Muir Trail Ranch, Lost ‘n’ Found and Two Fools at Lava Springs Camp, Big Lake Youth Camp, Mom, Mike and Cheryl for a brunch feast at Timberline Lodge, the USFS Mt. Hood recreation specialist for the detour route, Americorps Crew use of facilities at the FS Parkdale Work Center, Trout Lake Abbey for the carrots, Ron the Chinook Pass elk hunter for fruit on a foggy cold morning, NorthBlades 350 for the trail work and cookies, the ultra runner sawing blowdown near Mirror Lake, Thai Kitchen’s delicious Thai feast, Stacy and Kevin’s delicious homemade cookies delivered on a very wet day, Georgie Heitmann’s help at Hiker Haven, Grandma and Grandpa Malone for finding and delivering size 15 shoes to Baring in very short time, Bad Boy Bean-2001 PCT hiker-for the Stehekin Bakery strawberry rhubarb pie and the crew at the Stehekin Lodge for the extra super-sized meals.
Givers of rides: Scout for the ride to the Southern Terminus, Idyllwild local who offered a ride to town when I was oh so sick, Matt of the Idyllwild Inn who offered a ride back up, nursing student from Big Bear, the retired judge driving out of Big Bear, Wrightwood Mountain Hardware employee, the Johnson family, the proprietor of the Mojave Best Western, Bristlecone and Uber for the ride to Independence, golfers for the ride to Mammoth, Kristin and Russ’s neighbor for the ride to Lee Vining Mobile Station, Terry and Sky for the ride to YNP, all the rides around YNP-especially Annie, Barry and Oliver, Will for the ride and stories to the Reno Airport, Bill the miner for getting us down to Etna, Tom and Acorn for the serendipitous ride to Shasta City, friends Li An and Justin for the ride to Dunsmuir brunch and back to the trail, Grandma Lissa for the ride to Kennedy Meadows, Early Girl and Water Boy for the ride to Sonora Pass, Chris the trail runner in Mammoth, Footloose Sports manager for the ride to Davison St. Guest House, Andy for the ride back, Scout and Frodo for the ride to Independence (they took us to our 1st mile of CA and picked us up from our last mile of CA!), OSU fans at Odell Lake, Emily in Bend, Boni and Dave for picking us up at Cascade Locks, Mom for the ride back to Cascade Locks, Chuck for the ride to Baring, Grandma and Grandpa for the ride back to Stevens Pass AND for coming up to Manning Provincial Park to pick us up. NB: In southern California and our Yosemite/Sierra Fest detour we hitched often. But so often after that rides were offered before we ever asked.
Trail work we encountered: PCTA crew just north of Walker Pass, PCTA crew just north of Castle Crags, FS crew in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, FS crew in the William O. Douglas Wilderness, PCTA crew near Snoqualmie Pass and the ultra-runner turned trail clearer near Snoqualmie Pass.
Back home appreciation: Grandma and Grandpa Malone for watching Gracie and taking care of our plants. Liz Johnston and friends at Cascade Land Conservancy who gave us the Seiad Valley Pancake Challenge and more. Rick Dunning for sharing a thought provoking and enlightening book. And for all the well wishes, blessings and good thoughts sent our way and which affirmed our PCT journey.