If you tell enough people what you’re doing, you’ll find someone who will want to help.
~MICHELLE STURM, Programs Coordinator, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, 1990
In a few of my posts lately, I’ve been yapping on and on about my gear, my opinions, my trips, and now my PCT plans. So I would now like to take some space and talk about the amazing, giving, life-saving, unsung heroes, and sometimes anonymous Trail Angels of the Pacific Crest Trail.
By definition; a Trail Angel is defined as:
n. A person who leaves food and performs other acts of kindness for hikers. Erin a 2011 PCT hiker wrote in her online journal:
Trail Angels are people (some anonymous) who watch over hikers like guardian angels and provide help along the trail. In the desert, trail angels keep water caches stocked with jugs of water for hikers where there are insanely long distances between water sources. Others have been known to leave coolers along difficult stretches that contain goodies like soda, beer, fruit, and ice cream bars. I’ve heard stories from hikers about times when a hiker coming from the other direction tells them about treats left by a trail angel miles up the trail, and how they sprint to get to that cooler before the goodies run out. There are also trail angels who set up a grill and cook out for passing hikers over the weekend. Trail angels don’t just supply food. They also offer services like shuttles into town, or even places to stay for a night and to get a hot shower and do laundry. Again, it’s amazing how giving and supportive complete strangers can be along the trail.
I was the recipient of many a Trail Angel’s Magic last summer. The following are just a couple of examples from my trail journal last summer:
Then I saw a gentleman outside the resort sporting a cool, new i Phone. We got to talking and guess what, he generously offered to charge my phone at the cabin he was vacationing at! I rode in a small motor boat across Echo Lake with Marty and Joy to the cabin. I enjoyed a delightful afternoon at an adorable rustic cabin, had a HOT shower, drank tea with cookies and fresh fruit, and shared my journey with these great people. All the while my phone was charging. I also had fun trading iPhone tips and apps with Marty. Thank you Marty and Joy. It was great fun and now I am off carrying 7 days of food through very scenic and popular Desolation Wilderness clean and with a smile on my face.
Oh and here is another one:
Early this morning just after crossing Highway 8, right under a pine tree was an ice chest. Well my first thoughts were who would leave an ice chest out for bears to get? Suddenly the writing on the outside came into focus “For PCT Hikers”. I instantly threw open the lid and behold Trail Magic left by Mountain Mary. The fine vessel held FRESH oranges and apples, donut holes, rolls (wheat and white), apple butter, cookies, tortillas, and Hershey Kisses!!!! WELL.. my excitement was great to put it lightly. I quickly wolfed down an orange, 5 donut holes, and 2 rolls with apple butter! It was a great moment in history.
Ahhhhhhhhhh! Gotta love those Trail Angels. THANK YOU!
We are blessed to live in a community that is located near the Pacific Crest Trail. Last spring, my husband and I were lucky enough to help along a few thru-hikers with rides, a place to sleep, laundry, food, and of course Internet. If you are reading and would like assistance on the PCT while passing through Tehachapi, email for contact info at:
Oh and track us down at the Pacific Crest Trail Kick-Off event (ADZPCTKO).