Wednesday, May 23, 2012

23 May - Day 33 - Hiker Heaven

Zero Day - Trail Miles: 0

Sean here. This blog salutes GoLite reflective umbrellas, because while "mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun," covering miles in the heat of the day is much more pleasant under a personal silver dome.

What can you say about the Saufleys and their trail angel magic that hasn't already become the stuff of PCT legend? They and their volunteers run a most generous, brilliantly thought-out, and efficient super support camp for PCT hikers. The UN should consult with them regarding refugee camps, because we have come to resemble people on the rough edges of reality (Dancing Feet, Alphabet Soup and Three Bears, you guys are notable exceptions).

Most of us are housed three or four to a huge walk-in tent, though we scored the sleeping quarters in a horse trailer.

When thru-hikers arrive at Hiker Heaven, most have a somewhat stunned look, especially if they arrive at the end of a high-mileage day like our 27+ miles yesterday. Volunteers Jack and Barb gently introduced us to the routine of how to get our laundry done, how to collect our mail, sign up for a shower, and find the rack of bikes for self-transport to the little biz district down the road. Meanwhile, another 47 hikers mill about the grounds in various stages of recovery.

Left to Right: Dionysus, Pan, Seano, 3Bears, Tina, Rapunzel, Ben (not yet Jubal), and Dirty Brown.
Dionysus, Tina, 3Bears, Rapunzel.

Today is our zero day here and our wits are more or less returning. We have made runs to the grocery store and REI to restock food and replace gear. We also decided to ship in freeze-dried and other food to meet us at Kennedy Meadows--along with having our stove shipped back; thanks Vanessa!

Calculating resupply.

By the time we finish here, we'll be more or less ready for the next leg; and those of us whose confidence had been shaken have traded enough laughs, info, and encouragement to return to the trail. Now THAT'S trail magic.

We finished off the night with a margarita-fest down at the local cantina.

A handful of euphemisms we have learned and created for purposes of the trail:

# Camel-up: drinking lots of water at the water source itself so there's no need to carry an extra liter.
#Wookie-face: when hair, beard, mustache, eyebrows, nose and ear hair mat together on a male hiker's face, usually because he hasn't seen a mirror in more than a week.
#Going to summon the demon: our polite way of informing one another that we're headed into the sagebrush to draw a pentagram, dig a hole, and poop.

That's all for tonight except to remind hikers about the elegance of the GoLite reflective umbrellas for protecting the noggin on hot desert crossings; and for us they come in handy for impromptu renditions of the three little maids number from the Mikado ...when we're hitch hiking (works like a charm).

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