Trail Camp to Trail Camp
Mile 462.6 – Mile 479.9
I woke this morning with purpose. Not the “I can’t wrap my brain around it” purpose of hiking all the way to Canada but rather today I had a meeting. I had 16 miles to meet my friend Joel in San Fransquito Canyon (sounds like an diminutive nsect from Northern California) where the PCT crosses the road there.
The day promised heat so I went to work early again with visions of Gatorade and maple bars dancing in my head. The trail through Bouquet Canyon had been well maintained by the local scout troop making for an easy walk until the heat started in earnest.
You would think it should be easy to set a place and time to meet up but when your on foot with intermittent coverage on an unfamiliar trail, the variables are many. Fortunately, as I emerged from the scrub onto the road, there was Joel waiting in his white LandCruiser.
Joel and I go all the way back to childhood and our families grew up together. That said, here’s a guy that I have not seen or spoken to in 23 years! (we counted) who drove out to meet me and bring some magic.
Apparently he had already been busy giving another hiker he saw walking the road a ride back to the ranger station. I jumped in and enjoyed the cool air conditioning as Joel took me to lunch at a nearby diner.
We spent the next five hours or so comparing notes on how life has turned out so far, reminiscing about the old neighborhood and family exploits, and chatting about what’s next. I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon and as a bonus, avoid the worst of the day’s heat.
All too soon it was time to hit trail so back we went and Joel unloaded the rest of the water and Gatorade at the trail crossing. Thinking like a hiker, our newest trail angel made an impromptu water cache on the south side of the road so hikers would find it before road walking the ranger station spigot. Smart. I told him the extra Gatorade was going to make someone very happy and indeed it took all of five minutes after he’d left for one to be claimed.
Joel’s parting gift was double maple bars that propelled me out of the canyon to my windy solitude, camping atop the northern hills.
I should note that this post’s title is incorrect. Near as I can tell from our time together today, Joel got his wings long ago. Thank you Joel!