Last night was actually the biggest camp we have had yet. There were about 20 people in the camp, but because they got in later, we decided to be antisocial and stay in our tent.
This morning we woke up to great weather, and headed off. The day was going to be fairly tame, and there was another detour for the yellow-legged frogs here, so we had a bunch of road walking to do. The road was actually closed down, so we were able to walk freely through the beautiful mountains, and enjoy the scenery.
It was nice being able to relax while hiking, get in some positive miles, and just have perfect weather. It's a double edged sword with road walking -- on one hand you're missing the trail (although for this we had no choice) and on the other, you get to actually enjoy your surroundings, so which is better? A mix I suppose, heavy on the trail. Road walking can definitely get boring, and tiring, and with lots of traffic around, can be dangerous.
As the day moved along, we eventually got to our spot for the night -- a parking lot. Hey, it had a bathroom (outhouse, no running water of course) and a picnic bench, so we were happy! A couple bikers rolled through, and we asked about food nearby, and it turned out there was a spot half mile down the road. Hungry and ready to relax with some more hearty food -- bars aren't all that satiating -- we packed up our freshly pitched up tent. As we threw on our packs and got ready to head out, a car stopped next to us. Filled to the brim with buns, eggs, sodas and beers, a car full of trail angels was upon us.
Barrel Roll, Moosie, and Mike were coming out to the trail for the holiday weekend to set up with tons of food and drinks for the thru hikers. They offered to take our packs up the trail a few miles to where they had planned to set up, and unfortunately there wasn't room for us in the car, so we hiked on.
A little while into it, we were talking about the fact that we were so trusting to a couple of strangers because they said two things: one, they thru hiked the PCT (and AT), and two, they had food. Without hesitation, we took them up on their offer to take everything we own, everything we have to survive, and all of our rations up the trail a few miles to feed us. Such is the trail, however, that everyone is your friend, and everyone is looking out for one another. It's a friendship that doesn't need any kindle, and burns brightly even for the most random of strangers.
After an hour or so of hiking, we finally made it to where Barrel Roll, Moosie and Mike had set up, and were greeted with first and foremost, our packs! Obviously, they were fine, but still nice to have back again. We helped them bring stuff from the car to the camp, and had burgers, hot dogs, beers, sodas, chips, beans, and clementines.
Noodles (one of the guys we met at the McDonalds a few days back) and a couple new thru hikers rolled in, and we all enjoyed the food and campfire. There were a bunch of kids and their families in the campsite next to us, and they asked if it would be alright to share some stories and talk about what we do and why. After chatting for a while, and celebrating Mike's birthday for a bit, we got ready for bed.
Since we hiked extra miles today, tomorrow will be a short day. However, tomorrow is the third and, hopefully, last detour on the trail. We did get word there is a fire up trail a little, so we are hoping that doesn't affect us.
We sleep with full bellies, new friends, and an even greater appreciation for the kind spirit of human nature. Whether it is a thru hiker bond, or just genuine kindness, we go to bed happy.