PCT: Day 201: Trail Magic

Day: 201

Direction: Southbound

Trail location: 1352

Cumulative miles hiked: 2047

Miles hiked today: 12.12

Elevation: 6686

High/low temp: 90/64/15

Spinning on the turntable: Fratellis: Costello Music

I was tickled this morning to run into trail magic at the top of a hill. How awesome is that?!?

Bring it on!

The trail Angel was just starting to set up, so I jumped in and helped a little. I had two ice cold flavored waters, a brownie, potato chips and a super ripe peach. It was freaking awesome!

He (I want to say Pete) and his wife have been hitting this spot for 11 years. They love giving to hikers. Pete really wanted me to take a beer with me for later in the day. I didn’t want the weight. Later in the day I daydreamed about how good that beer would have been.

On this particular day Pete and his wife were going to be joined by another couple who also wanted to give to the hikers. Their generosity touched me. Everything they brought was for the hikers. “Eat it, drink it, take it. We brought it for you and we don’t want to take it home.”

I ran into lots of trail magic in 2019. 99% of the experiences were good. It’s that 1% of the weird, or odd experiences, that have me a little cautious. What’s the Angel expecting from me in return for this beverage? A long conversation? A long monologue about their hiking experiences?

Happy to say that in this day, the only expectation was that we eat and enjoy ourselves!

Pete had everyone sign his white poster board and then mounts it on a door at his house. Each year the door has a new poster. Love it!

I hung out for about 30 minutes and then hit the dirt again around 8:30. It was the continuation of a long uphill climb.

Oh it’s hot!

It’s just scorching out here! I was happy to finally have a little downhill trail after an hour or two of leaving Pete’s.

Per Pete’s request, I told all the NBTH about the upcoming trail magic. There’s generally a look of excitement on hikers faces at the mention of free food and beer!

So cold!

I love the fresh water springs! I stopped here for a leisurely lunch and hung out in the shade.

I bumped into a 65+ year old NBTH this afternoon. Older hikers are much more inclined to stop and chat for a spell!

He was telling me that he’s shooting for Canada and hopes to arrive there by the end of September. He doesn’t have a Canadian entry permit. I told him that I think the border is reopening this month so he should have time to get the application in to the Canadian authorities and to receive it back.

He was interested in what happens if he enters without a permit. Not being a Canadian border person, I have no idea. I tell him that the CANADIAN I met the other day said he can’t enter Canada without a permit. It sounded like he was going to just cross the border and see what happens.

I told him that the border guard, when we left Canada, wasn’t that interested in our permit entry. He glanced at it, but he took our passports for inspection. “Oh, I don’t have a passport” says the 65+ year old hiker.

“Well that makes it simple then, you’re not entering Canada without a passport, you’re hiking 30 miles back to Harts pass and hitching out” I said.

“I’ll just chance it and see what happens. What are they gonna do? Deport me to America?”

(Steve very slowly blinks in contemplation while staring at the hiker, and then wishes him a good day and continues down the trail.)

It’s the heat. It just bakes the bejesus out of us all.


  1. Portland Bag Lady

    “I’ve got an appointment with a felony!”

    “I’ve always dreamed of being in a Canadian lock-up! I hear they serve Tim Hortons!“

    • mcgarveysan

      I’d kill for a Tim Hortons at the top of a few mountain passes! I saw today that the PCTA advised 2021 hikers that the Canadian border most likely won’t open for thru-hikers this year.


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