Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Wild: From Lost to Found  on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed is currently on the NYTimes best sellers list. I finished this book and The Barefoot Sisters, Hiking the Appalachian Trail earlier this spring.  Both books are intriguing reads about females who hiked alone in the wilderness, carrying their necessary goods on their backs. The thought of living weeks on end on re hydrated dried noodles and rice, sleeping in wet cramped smelly quarters, filtering water every evening is not on my short list of stuff I need to do in my life. No siree.
I applaud and admire whose who try.
Much to my amazement, I found one of the PCT drop boxes at Mazama Village in Crater Lake. The drop box is for hikers to leave off extra stuff or pick up items they need.
When I saw the box, I reflected on the description in the books about how much the hiker looked forward to finding stuff they need in the box, and how for a part of Cheryl's hike, she was down to her last 2 cents.
Trail journal  Click to enlarge
The books also describe Trail Angels who just leave food. I can't hike the length of the trail, but I can be a Trail Angel. The only reasonably priced food in the store was Cracker Jacks so I bought some bags and put them in the box in the morning. They were gone by the afternoon. That evening, I took some oatmeal, sweet potatoes and 2 bottles of beer  from our camping food supplies to the box. They were there the next morning so I guess no one went through that night. I think if I was hiking the trail, I would like to find Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in the box.

A trail journal is in each box so the hikers can leave messages for each other. The entries in the trail journal all sounded the same, cold and a lot of snow in the area. I talked to a 20 something who was hoping to hike from Ashland to Canada before the cold fall weather set in. He said he didn't need anything and had just dropped some stuff in the box. I wished him well as he turned and started up the road.  

An hour later, as we started our drive to view the lake, we saw him walking up the road to Crater Lake, taking his time, just putting one foot ahead of the other, with each step a little closer to accomplishing his goal.

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