“Here comes the sun” . . . . De doo de dee – The Beetles
I woke before the sun rose and I could tell it had been much warmer than any other night thus far on the trail. I could actually get up and out of my tent without putting on all my layers including my hoody, while shivering myself to death. I went through the morning routine, and was soon feet on the trail headed north.
The trail meandered, there was thick brush on either side and it seemed to snake around, turn after turn. At mile 5.5, I plopped for a usual morning snack break and took a load off my feet. The terrain in this section was pretty similar, green bushes covered the hillside and the trail was brown and bouldery.
I pressed on and finally the scenery started to change, more cactus and less bushes. In the distance I could see a big white tent. I thought nothing of it at first but as I neared it, I woundered if it were just off the trail. I rounded the bend and there was a large tent and Niko the trail angel chilling inside.
Along with him was Mike from Ireland and his gilfriend from France. Niko, who looked a bit like a surfer with shoulder length dirty blond hair and red reflective Okleys on, invited me in and offered up some oranges, water, chips. Whatever I felt like grabbing. It was a cool setup, definitly a car camping palace for sure.
All of the sudden it was like the Truman show, pepole were coming out of the woodworks left and right! Tori, Smokebeard, Lewis, Kim, Ryan, and a few others just started rolling in. We all hung out and chatted for a bit, resting our feel and rehydrating.
I knew I couldnt stay all day and although the company was great, the trail wasnt going to hike itself. I pressed on and so did the sun! The terrain turned more hilly and some of the flats that we had turned to climbs. The sun began beating on me head, and it reminded me of trekking in AZ, I smiled and pressed on. After passing a water cistern that had some pretty bleak looking water in it. I was thought back and was pretty thankful we happened upon Niko.
Cistern with questionable water
Soon after the cistern I met up with Kim and Ryan again, just chilling under a tree. I chatted for a moment, and then we got around to recalling out top 5 favorite films, and all kinds of other silly trail banter. We pressed on together for a bit, then I pushed up a nice hill into the heat ahead. Finally after some good miles I found the water cache at Table Mountain Truck trail, just 19 gallons left. I filled 2 liters up. Soon Kim and Ryan rounded the corner pretty happy to find me standing on top of the water cashe singing the Lion King theme song where Simba is being held up on the rock! “Nants ingonyama bagithi baba / Sithi uhhmm ingonyama”
We all preesed the last mile together and grabbed a camp among some pretty sweet boulders. I had no climbing shoes, but felt a few out. There were doable lines on the highballs, but getting down would be another story all together. I played around a bit on the smaller ones before setting up my tent and settling in. Another great day on the trail!
Michael – 23, from Seattle, just applied for med school after graduating in biology from Virginia where he played college football as a tight end. Figured while his girlfriend is in Nicaragua, and hes waiting for acceptance to med school, he would come try his hand at the PCT. Hes rockin a bear canister from the start . . . Everones been giving him shit for carrying the weight when he doesn’t need it for another 600 miles 🙂
Michael, stretching and being goofy!
Trail Angel Profile:
Niko – Trail Angel, looking for friends. He was part owner in a production company and dabbled in art. He used to surf, but like to go sailing now. After his mom bought him a Costco membership he started bringing some good trail magic to different areas because he loved camping and meeting new people.