Oh, did you think I ran off? No, not quite, although I did duck out to do a 220 mile stretch with Robin. As is normal courtesy, many people have asked how the trip was… but rather than boring you with all of MY side of the story (which likely is a lot more ‘exaggerated’ [see:exciting] than Robin’s ‘real’ and ‘factual’ recount of events) I’ll let Robin tell you most of the details…
Before I let you go though, let me give a teensie collection of tales from my piece of the adventure to explain why I’m completely in awe of trail magic… On my third day on the trail, I was eating hot chili, drinking beer, chasing it with shots of crown royal (and subsequently swapping riddles and dirty jokes with the trail-angels) – and topped the night off sleeping on a feather pillow. Legosaurus and Pocahontas (who Robin talks more about in his journals) also run a you-tube channel and did interviews with every hiker that came through (including Robin Hood), but his interview isn’t up yet… stay tuned.
A few days later, on our way into Bend, we were picked up by the trail-saint, Lloyd (we didn’t hitch hike mom, his name is listed in the PCT book for giving rides to hikers). Lloyd is like everyone’s favorite grandpa rolled into one human.
After that, we met Fun-Hog and White Jeep who were our magicians* on ‘detour day’. You’ll find more about this later, but basically, we had to detour around the ‘Waterfall 2’ fire which Robin mentions in his journal. This ended up being my longest, hardest day, and also possibly my favorite. In summary:
CONs to detour day – 22-24 mile day, bushwhacking, lots of elevation gain, running out of water, cars, pavement and 90 weather…
PROs – flower pressing, finally remembering all the words from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song, seeing the fire-glow on the mountains at night, having the camp-host open up the store an hour after they closed to get us beer, and pretty much not being on fire.
*Also, side note: I don’t think ‘trail magician’ is proper PCT jargon, but I like calling them magicians instead of angels – I see beer and chili as more magic, than miraculous, but I’m just a section hiker. Maybe after 300+ miles you begin to see trail-magic as less “wee! a surprise in the fruity-pebbles box!” and more as “that cooler full of chocolate milk saved. my. life.”
Anyway, I know Robin will write about these trail magicians/angels (more eloquently) in his journal, but here’s a sneak peak: Fun-Hog met us at the end of an ugly stretch with a cooler full of soda, candy, cookies, and fancy maps. White Jeep (who was actually driving a massive, white Ford pick-up. go figure.) arrived soon after we finished snacking and was shuttling hikers through the section of the detour that was on the road (since it was 7+ miles, with no shoulder, on a highway, no water, and largely unnecessary in ‘trail mile’ calculations). The detour was about 20 miles, and you miss about 10 miles of PCT, so even taking the 7 mile shuttle, you’re still doing more than the equivalent number of hiking miles. My lovely man-friend though, vowed to walk a continuous foot path from Mexico to Canada, which means, no shuttles. No skipping – Anything. So, against all the convincing from Fun Hog, White Jeep, and the 3 other hikers waiting for the shuttle (and all the wide-eyed, raised eyebrows I gave him) shuttle be damned. Robin never for a second would’ve taken a car-ride if it meant breaking his footpath. And as much as I want to give him greif for being so stubborn, I was stubborn enough to go with him. He earned loads of trail credit that day and I think I earned girlfriend credit too… (until later that day when I chucked my poles in his general direction while in the middle a minor dehydration-inducted, dirt-kicking, silent tantrum. I learned I strongly dislike bushwhacking).
After detour day, we had other feats and magic things occur, including random coolers full of beer/soda, the day-hiker giving us Mike’s Hard Lemonade and ice-water, lots of water caches, and randomly one fresh mango. So, here’s my long winded thank you to all the trail magicians – you’re all crazy, and I love it. Cheers!
Okay, back to Robin… So, not to skip-ahead and ruin the journal entries (any more than I already have), but since I last updated you, Robin has crossed into Oregon (and now into Washington… yup, I’m behind), dodged fires, been bowed down to by trail-folk, met up with his parents and one of his sisters (the other one was their in cookie-spirit), and put up with my near-daily trail naps for 2 weeks. And now, he’s about 2 weeks from Canada…
TWO WEEKS. 300 miles.
And finally… here are his latest journals. Be warned, I took these photos on my phone, so they’re not as sharp as his photos (darn you Android) – in fact, they’re pretty crapy. I actually dropped my phone and cracked my screen half way through this so, my apologies – the next batch should be better aaand, I missed pg. 95. So with all this talk about magic, use your imagination. (Okay, he’s talking about a muscle cramp, but you could’ve gone some crazy places with that missing page.)