Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail – Hikers from all over the world come to face it’s challenges and blessings.
And while the challenges are abundant, all I can think about are the blessings. Amazing blessings that you’d never imagine, totally unexpected surprises, strange and wonderful scenery. But I’d have to say most blessings came in the human form. People. People from all walks, ages, backgrounds, countries; amazing People.
Blessing number one, my hiking partner, Debbie. I’d heard that if you’re seeking a hiking partner, to post in social media. That seemed a bit far fetched, but what the heck, I gave it a try. A couple gals responded, but Debbie actually stepped up and said “YES!” An enthusiastic “YES!” We first arranged to meet for coffee, (because who knows what kind of crazy is out there!) She seemed relatively normal so we went on a couple local hikes. It sounds unbelievable to think it could be that simple. It was, at least for us. (Disclaimer: Similar results not guaranteed!) 800 miles later, we are planning our 2020 trek for another 1000 miles.
Blessing number two. This one is how we knew our entire trip would be blessed. In the early days of our journey, as the story goes…”It was a dark and stormy night”…yes…for reals! Cold blustery wind whipping the tent all night. Driving rain began around 2 am. I know because I was awake. Debbie apparently sleeps through anything. In the morning, I left the tent as the sun was struggling to break in and out of the clouds. Rain continued to blow sideways. I looked up and saw a double rainbow over our tent. A rainbow just like the one set over Noah, with God’s promise. What a beautiful blessing!
Blessing number three. The people. Other hikers on the same journey. We met people from all over the world, all on the same path. Then there are the trail angels; people who go out of their way to help PCT hikers with food, shelter, transportation and laundry! But probably the biggest surprise was an encounter with ‘Sunshine,’ (her trail name) a 70 something woman, solo hiking. We’d met her a couple days prior at Hiker Town. (That’s another story altogether) As we get to a popular trail angel’s place called Casa De Luna, we meet her again. But there are dozens of other hikers to visit with; we weren’t talking much with Sunshine as we’d already met her and knew her story. Ah – but as Paul Harvey says,”Here’s the rest of the story.” The following morning standing around the coffee pot, Hikers bagan to tell where they were from. I said I’m from CA, Sunshine said she’s from WA. Others call out where they are from and a young man said Minnesota. Well I had to chime in that I’m originally from Wells, MN. Sunshine says with surprise in her voice, “I”M FROM WELLS!” Turns out, her dad, the town doctor, delivered me. AND she and her prom date, doubled with my now husband and his date! Yes, it is a very small town!
If we hadn’t gotten past trail names we would never have known.
Trail blessings come in all shapes and sizes. These were only a few out of many. The saying goes, “The trail provides.” I say, “The trail is full of blessings.”