Random acts of pacific crest trail kindness
August 15, 2014
In chronological order, these are the folks who offered help during my journey. I don’t have every name but they will be remembered. It is these people who inspire me more than the trail itself. They have become very special to me.
1) Friend’s & family. On more than one occasion I’ve been asked “how can i send you things?”.
2) Linn & Linda from Tehachapi. Met them day hiking in Yosemite valley and after learning where they were from I mentioned I was going to walk by them in a few months on the PCT. As I was walking away Linn ran up to me and handed me a piece of paper with a number scribbled on it and told me to call when I make it to Tehachapi. They would come grab me, take me to run any errands I needed and let me shower. They’d even cook me a hot dinner and asked if I was vegan or preferred meet. How amazing is that?
3) Suntactics. I emailed them about my adventure and they sent me one of their solar charges, the Scharger-5. It’s been on my pack since and a piece of technology I can’t do without. Works perfectly.
4) Trail Angel “Girl Scout”. He works magic around San Diego area running people to trail heads, housing, taxiing, feeding, and more. I emailed him for a ride from Greyhound station to the trail head and he responded in 20 minutes with a yes.
5) Border Patrol. 2 on duty border patrol officers pulled over when I thumbed up the road from scissors crossing. They asked if everything was okay, I was good but dreaming of ice cold water since I ran out about an hour earlier. I asked if they had something to drink and with smiles they handed me a Powerade before driving off. I drank it in 2 seconds.
6) The lady who pulled over as I thumbed at scissors crossing. She was driving the next car after the Patrol and asked if I needed a ride to Julian, a cute town a few miles away that I indeed wanted a ride to. On the ride to town she let me help myself to some freshly pealed tangerines. They were pure heaven.
7) The adorable little lady at the post office in Idyllwild. While I was scribbling addresses on a bunch of boxes this cute little lady asked me if I needed a ride somewhere. I told here, “I do, to devils slide trailhead but in ten minutes…”. “Perfect!” She says, “I need to run around the corner, I’ll wait for you outside in the blue Subaru!”. She was waiting when I walked out and took me where I needed to go with smiles the entire ride.
8) Thor. War vet living in Pine Grove outside of Idyllwild. Was thumbing and he gave me a lift up the highway a few minutes. Told me stories about the time he hitched all over the states in the 60s and kept referring to me as “brother”. He was pretty awesome and I wished the ride was longer.
9) The two good intentioned but nerve wracking back country “foke”. Hitched a ride with these colorful people who had me worried the entire ride. Details for another time. In the end they got me to Cabazon.
10) The adorable grandma inside in-n-out in Cabazon. I bought a milkshake and was sipping it with my backpack across from me. Dirty from the sweat I worked up earlier and tapping away on my smartphone a lady approaches me from the side with a concerned look placing her hand on my shoulder and asks “are you hungry? “. Her look of concern was the cutest thing ever, I smiled so hard I hurt my face. I declined her offer and politely thanked her several times before she continued on. Melted my heart.
11) Dan, or is it Dave? Nature’s inn owner and operator. He gave me a discounted rate because of confusion involving his slightly confusing pricing model. He then loaned me an ice pad, bucket for soaking and epson salts. He was a really nice guy.
12) The lady at La Mulitas. I think she was the chef, she was definitely running the show. I order a burrito and she disappears into the kitchen. Few seconds later she pokes her head out:
Her: “are you a PCT hiker”
Her: “I’ll make it extra big”
It was huge.
13) He went by Kirk. Was lounging at the Deep Creek hot springs. Let me finish off his bottle of wine and answered all my questions about fishing high alpine lakes. Cool guy.
14) The group out 4×4 driving before Cajon Pass. I came up over a hill to see about 15 trucks all parked around with maybe 30 people standing around shooting the shit and drinking beers. As I approached along the trail they waved me over asking questions. I chatted for about 15 minutes and was offered ice cold water and beer. This grandma who was chilling in the back of a jeep asked me if I wanted some home grown medicinal herb and hash. Love country folk!
15) Lady at McDonalds, Cajon Pass. She stopped as I gorged my face in true gluttonous fashion and asked if I was a PCT hiker. Over the pile food that lay at my chin I responded “I am”.
Her: “Can I buy you a beer? Or are you good?” Looking down at my pile of food.
Me: “I’m good for now” with a smile.
Her: “I thought so, what you’re doing is rad. Good luck.”
16) While thumbing for a ride outside of Echo lakes on highway 50 a young guy picks me up. He drives out if his way to drop me off in Sacramento. Incredible!
17) Staff at Drakesbad. They hooked me up with food every chance they got. I had a massive pile of lasagna and the most amazing breakfast burrito of my life (no exaggeration). The chef that was there was truly talented. They offered to mail packages for me as well. I left that place with a backpack full of delicious cookies and a full belly.
18) Maggie and her husband (name I forgot) from Oakland. I needed to have a package mailed home and they offered to mail it for me. When I went to give them cash they said no, they’d rather have good karma. They mailed my package! So awesome.
19) I asked a random stranger outside of old station at a tourist stop if he had any bottled water. He said sure and walks to his car before coming back with a bottle and asks if I’m spending time in the backcountry to which I replied yes. He hands me the water and exclaims I might find use for “this” holding some beef jerky in his hand. Awesome guy.
20) Dave from the town of Cool, CA. Hitched into Burney, CA with him and he asked if I wanted some food. After I said sure he proceeded to go through every cabinet in his camper looking for “calories” I might want.
21) Annabelle from grass valley and Jake from Jackson, Oregon gave me a ride to Dunsmuir and tossed a ziploc bag full of herb at me saying “help yourself”.
22) The lady working front desk at Cave Springs inn in Dunsmuir. I told her i couldn’t do laundry because I didn’t have clothes to wear while mine were being washed. She gave me clothes to wear and gave me laundry detergent from her home.
23) The young lady that worked at the restaurant in Seiad Valley. After closing she randomly walked up and offered the group of us a bunch of herb and a bottle of vodka before inviting us to join her and other locals.
24) The lady and her husband in the RV park in Seiad Valley. The husband walked up and handed the group of us a bag of herb. Apparently everyone in Seiad Valley has a surplus of herb.
25) Cheryl & John of Ashland. Cheryl, cousin to Linda from Tehachapi, grabbed me from Safeway and let me sleep in a spare room of there beautiful home on the outskirts of Ashland. They fed me and ran me to REI in Medford a neighboring town. Let me shower, wash clothing, and use their sink to clean my backpack. They took me back to the trail when I needed. Amazing people!
26) Bill & his wife in Ashland. Let Tela and myself crash in their home, do laundry, bought us dinner and kept us company then ferried us to the trail. Amazing people!
27) The random couple hiking a few days out of Ashland who gave water to Tela who was running low then caught up to us as we were hitching to a nearby resort (name escape me) and gave us a ride.
28) The lady at Fish lake resort who snuck Tela and I a towel. They charge $2.50 for towels to shower with. By the way, fish lake resort is horrible!
29) The guy who drove Tela and myself from Crater Lake to Klamath Falls stopping at motels on the way and waiting while we checked rates and vacancies so we didn’t need to stay at the overpriced tourist trap in Crater Lake.
30) The construction worker who gave Tela and I a lift from Klamath to the junction near Crater Lake.
31) The young couple from Santa Rosa, CA who picked us up where the construction worker dropped us off. They waited while we collected our resupply boxes and drove us to the post office at Crater Lake.
32) The lady who gave me a ride to Redmond from Elk Lake Resort giving me a tour of downtown Bend, OR on the way.
33) Lindsey and Chris for housing myself & Tela, feeding us, letting us clean and use their laundry machine, and truck! Chris also hooked me up with mushies and herb. Lindsey then dropped us off up the freeway for an easy hitch around the fire closures in Oregon.
34) Cameron Yee of Lunchbox Alchemy. As Tela and I were moving up to a good spot to hitch a ride from he waved us down from the parking lot of a gas station we were walking by. I approached and he said he could give us a ride, we hadn’t even stuck or thumbs out yet!
35) The young guy who gave Tela and I a lift from Government Camp up to Timberline lodge.
36) Shrek, a trail angel. Gave me a place to sleep for free and a bandana that doubles as a filter in Cascade Locks.
37) The owner of Trout Lake general store who provides free laundry service and an incredibly inexpensive place to sleep.
38) The couple who pulled over to give Easy Strider and myself a lift back to the trail from Trout Lake. They also gave us cookies.
39) The guy who gave me a ride down the hill from Chinook pass.
40) The police officer in Enumclaw who gave me a ride to the edge of town so I could hitch to North Bend.
41) Angie and Ryan. Ryan picked me up where the officer dropped me off and on the way to North Bend he invited me over for quiche his wife Angie made. Angie greets me with a hug and over dinner invites me to stay the night and clean up. They housed me for 3 days and paid for dinner when we went out. Incredibly awesome people!!
42) The series of people I hitched with to get to Hearts Pass. A nurse from Chelan who offered me a beer. The young guy from Winthrope who drove out of his way for me and the software engineer traveling the states who drove me as far as he could up the pass.
43) The guy who picked me up at Manning Park and drove out of his way to get me close to a border crossing.
44) The gas station attendant who helped me figure out how to get to Seattle, offered me a bag to keep dry in the rain.
This one is out of order because I don’t want to be responsible for her losing a job. The lady who waved me outside from behind a counter at a post office to give me packages from her car. She saved me from having to pay double shipping when you have things shipped to a Post Office using FedEx or UPS. She preemptively intercepted my packages before they entered the system. She risked her job, it’s one of the craziest things a complete stranger has ever done for me.
Now I know I’ve missed some people. You all made this adventure more amazing than I could ever have asked for. Again, thanks!
If you’re reading this and I left you off the list feel free to reach out!
Did you experience some awesome trail magic? I’d love to hear your stories.
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