Day 39: Trail Magic

Memories from May 29

The plan from Walker Pass had been to do two 20 mile days and then get into Kennedy Meadows in a 10 mile day. That plan got thrown out today (the second 20) about 8 miles in just after Chimney Creek.

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Before I talk about that, some pictures from the morning.

Soft light on the soft colored ground cover.

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Bright green lichen.

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The Annual Day Zero PCT Kick Off was canceled this year. Different people have told me different things but this make up party was being put on by a guy named Paul who thru-hiked the PCT in 1977 (remember, it was completed in 1993 so that’s saying something) partially in memory of his friend Greg “Strider” Hummel who he met on that hike and was active in the PCT community (he organized the ADZPCTKO).

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I showed up around 8:45am and was served breakfast. No other hikers showed up for a while until we realized that the sign was just a short distance from a Chimney Creek where many hikers were likely to draw water and siesta. I took another sign down to the creek itself and about a half dozen hikers showed up in the next hour.

Lunch was burgers and dinner was steak. Wow.

After dinner there were songs around a campfire.

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Campfires are rare in California where dry conditions makes it so prone to wildfires. I wasn’t the only one to capture the moment.

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After each song, Paul would usually try to ad-lib a bonus verse or two about the PCT.

The PCT experience he’d had had clearly had a deep impact on Paul. His only request for the three meals and live music was that we find a way to give back to the hiking community.

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