This is the Pacific Crest Trail. It runs from the Mexico border fence straight into Canada, some 2600 miles all said and done. Yes, if you can imagine it, there is a trail that stretches across the entire United States. And ever since I heard of such a miraculous thing, I wanted to walk on it, all the way. Or attempt to anyway, over the decades. This little weekend jaunt started where I left off in 2009, at mile 265 out of 2663.
My tent partner and I swallowed a benadryl and we were off to dreams. We woke up to the sun and food and many miles in our immediate future. At 8am I won a bet about snow, and scored seventeen pringles.
As we climbed up, the temperatures dropped down, almost secretly, like it wanted to catch us off guard. The snow fell lightly, and then fell all damn day, inch after inch, covering the place magically. It looked exactly like something fabricated you might see at Disneyland, except it was real and hard to walk through. And it made everything wet, which created a nice entry point for potential frostbite.
One of us, the partner of this friend, took pictures from time to time, lucky for us.
By 4:30, we had stepped through 17 miles of forest. Night was rising. We were freezing. And despite the fact that being in our tents for the next fifteen boring hours seemed like torture, it also seemed like a smart idea considering the elements. So we pitched some tents and shrugged off the concern. Let's get warm, we all said to each other.
Then we heard some guys running, literally running, in shorts and stocking caps. And they stopped and offered help. And Bob and Micky came back with a truck an hour later to pick us up, and fed us homemade cookies and spaghetti, and let us display our wet gear all over the living room and staircase and bathroom, and cleared off the ping pong table so we could play, and brought out blankets and pillows, and let us crash on the couches and mattresses, and then went to the store in the morning to buy orange juice and syrup so we could have home made waffles. And then said, "thanks for coming" on our way out the door, as if our whole misadventure and rescue had all been planned.
The next morning, from the comfort of Bob's living room.