PCT: The kindness of strangers

Long Field of flowers
Noelle at a Water Cache
Noelle at a Water Cache

Here we were, parked in the middle of nowhere and running low’ish on water. our trusty trail application, Guthook, told us that there was a water cache up ahead.

We located the water cache and replenished our supplies. Who fills up the water caches? I have no idea. A volunteer, from somewhere local, made the commitment to put water out for the hikers. No payment expected.

It’s crazy, this generosity of strangers. They know nothing about this band of thru-hikers except that we will need water.
I like to think of myself as a generous person, but, usually there’s something in it for me. Some sort of expression of gratitude as payment, an acknowledgement of a gift. Something…

Another water cache
Another water cache

At a different water cache we again found the same kindness of strangers.

When we left this water cache we bumped into a trail magic location w/in a mile. A complete stranger had lugged his cooler up to the trail. He was giving away water, soda, beer and chips. No donations accepted. I asked why he was giving this away and he replied that someone had done it for him, so he was replaying a debt that could never be repaid.

Please don’t misunderstand, there aren’t water caches around every corner. We drank (after filtering) from a horse water trough one day and we’re SO happy that it was available to us. There are many dry stretches with no water. We’re lugging a lot of water with us each day and paying keen attention to the PCT water reports.

It’s just the unexpected kindness of strangers that has me scratching my head a bit.


  1. maebiustrip

    But you guys are very generous yourself!

    I strangely seem to recollect that just last year you gave a ride to Government Camp (and a superb dinner, and a place to stay later in Portland) to one smelly hiker, without requiring anything in return.

    You are awesome. Rock on!

    — markus


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *