Day 53- Trail magic

This was definitely one of the best camping spots we’ve had and I regret not getting a picture of it. We knew we would be making it to Walker Pass today, the last stop before Kennedy Meadows, but really didn’t have much of a plan. We knew we needed to resupply, and although we all really needed a shower, everyone was feeling good and was ok camping at the trailhead if necessary. As we packed up camp, Bandaid found an angry critter under his tent! This thing was about 2″ long and actually chased and attacked our feet. I guess I would be angry if someone pitched their tent on my house all night too.

It was a beautiful morning and we just cruised along, taking it all in.

We reached a creepy-looking cabin next to a spring, our only water source for the day and the last water before reaching Walker Pass. We met a hiker named Ashes who was hiking in sandals and had a good sense of humor. We ate lunch together at the cabin and then headed off to finish the last few miles to the pass.

When we got to the trailhead, we were delighted to find the rare treat of trail magic! A young man named Jeff had hiked a section of the Appalachian Trail earlier this summer and to pay it forward had brought fried chicken, biscuits, coleslaw, cold beer, soda and water on ice, Snickers (not melted into mush!) and a bottle of tequila to share with the stinky hikertrash. There was already a group of hikers here, most we had never met but we quickly settled in and spent a solid couple of hours socializing and relaxing in the shade.

We still didn’t know what we were doing in town and asked Jeff about food and places to stay nearby. He surprised us by offering to let us stay at his house. We were stunned by his generosity and took him up on his offer. Bandaid, Jailbreak and I waited for Jeff to be ready to leave before piling into his truck and exchanging “are we sure he isn’t a serial killer?” looks while happily chatting away.

We decided that we wanted food (Taco Bell, anyone?) and Jeff gladly drove us to one even though it was out of the way. We silently decided that he wasn’t a serial killer now that our hiker hunger was satiated, apparently reducing our anxiety. We piled back in the truck and Jeff drove us to his house in the dark. We were blown away by how cool this place was.

This house is a historical building- a Victorian-style estate home that used to be a bed and breakfast and was still fully furnished and decorated with period pieces in every room. There was even a life-sized painting of Abraham Lincoln.

Jeff brought us some loaner clothes (National Parks and Harry Potter shirts, which you KNOW we argued over) and washed all of our disgusting laundry for us while we took turns showering in the fancy clawfoot tub upstairs. The four of us shared beers and stories before choosing sleeping arrangements and heading to bed.

One thing that many hikers will agree on is how the trail restores your faith in people and the kindness of strangers. Today definitely did that. We didn’t know what to expect at Walker Pass and ended up with food, beers, camaraderie, and then showers, laundry, soft beds and a roof over our heads. Jeff’s trail magic was a wonderful surprise and we all really enjoyed getting to know him- a true trail angel!

Miles: 16.7

Trail magic: 2 (Thank you Jeff!)

Hiked with: Jailbreak, Bandaid

Camped with: Jailbreak, Bandaid

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