Friday, June 8, 2012

Day 29 - Trail Angels - Part 1 (The Saufleys)

May 24, 2012
Day 29
Miles: 10
Total Miles: 454

hikers invade the mexican restaurant in Agua Dulce
If you've never hiked a long-distance trail, you may not have heard of Trail Angels.  I had no idea how generous people could be in this hiker community before this trail.  The Saufley's at "Hiker Haven" in the town of Agua Dulce are the best example of the trail angel community.  They started hosting hikers in 1993 and since then have developed a system that allows them to host up to 50 hikers per day at the peak of hiking season - and they have it down!

They have an amazing setup with a dozen or so large tents on their property with cots.  There are bicycles available to hikers for rides into town.  There is a fire pit, a trailer with full kitchen and a selection of movies.  There is a shower and laundry and rides into town to the closest REI for resupplying gear.  They also receive and send packages.  In short - they have everything a hiker needs for a day off the trail!

I spent a couple of days here relaxing with several groups that I had been hiking with - as hikers seem to converge at these stops in what's often called a vortex.  It's sometimes hard to break free of the vortex after you've been sucked in, but at some point you decide that you need to move on and hesitantly begin the next section of your hike and leave behind the comforts of town and trail angels.

Pop Star, Gecko, Matt, Alisdair and Sarah all came in on my second day here and they kept us all up drinking wine by the fire pit.  I also met Oasis and Honey Bear here, two girls from either Portland or Seattle (seems like a disproportionate number of hikers come from one of these two places!).  Ron, another trail angel, took several of us in his van to REI and In-n-Out Burger and I was able to replace the insoles of my Cascadia 7's with new SOLE brand insoles from REI.

But the best part  - FOOD!  I ate at the mexican restaurant twice, the breakfast cafe once, and trips to the market for ice cream.  I typically share a large meal or have food left for a take-home box, but on these trips to the mexican restaurant I ate a full meal with a large bowl of fried ice cream, and I still did not fill this hole in my stomach.  I'll keep trying!

The Saufley's Fire Pit


Post a Comment

PCT Northern Terminus

PCT Northern Terminus
On September 30, 2012 I reached the Northern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Thanks to everybody who supported and followed my journey. It was a life-changing experience!