PCT mile 1082
It appears that Namaste has become my hiking thru-rain friend. I was about 6 or 7 miles into my day taking my morning break when Namaste came and joined me. There were blue skies but suddenly the clouds rolled in about 12:30. As I was finishing up my break the raindrops started. I grabbed my rain jacket, packed up my pack and was ready to hit the trail, no rain was stopping me. Namaste followed suit. It started out as light rain as we hiked through some wooded area, then we came to some more barren exposed landscape and the rain became more insistent with some thunder and lightning in the distance, I kept going, no reason to stop when it's raining you're only going to get more wet and cold. Then we got a little hail. Still kept going.
It was shortly after 3pm and the rain was trying to lighten up but still coming down. We came around a bend in the trail as we were descending down a hill and a saw a lone white vehicle parked up ahead. "Look a car" I said to Nasmaste. As we got closer we could see the hatch was popped and someone was sitting in the back. Namaste yelled out "Hello," and this man came out to greet us.
"Are you thru-hikers" he asked.
"We sure are," I replied, "what are you doing out here?" I inquired.
"I'm here for you."
What?!? He's here for us? Like the 2 of us specifically? What the heck does he mean? It seemed weird and surreal encountering another being in the middle of who knows where, after hiking through the rain for a few hours.
"Yeah...I have some soda and beer and some chips, you want some?"
I laugh as I often do when offered something out of the ordinary out on the trail, "Yes! Yes, I want some. This is totally awesome."
He goes on to introduce himself as I start raiding his cooler. Grapes!!! I was just talking about wanting fruit. I grab a obnoxious handful...about a pound and start popping them in my mouth. His name is Ian, he is a professional photographer from San Francisco, and he's out here doing a project on PCT hikers.
He asks us if we'd like to get out of the rain and starts moving things around so we can all fit underneath the hatch of his vehicle. Ian asks if we would mind if he asks us some questions and take our pictures "not at all" we both reply, as we get comfy out from the rain. So we sit and talk and enjoy some chips, grapes, and Coca-cola (the real stuff in the glass bottle). About a half hour passes by and the rain stops, Ian takes out his camera to take our pictures. He has some pretty cool old school equipment which is fun and entertaining to watch the process. He also has a polaroid and takes polaroids of us, one for him and an extra for us to keep.
By the time we're done and Ian has his pictures taken, the rain has stopped and it's starting to warm up. We thank Ian for all the goodies and the fun afternoon break from hiking and hit the trail again.
I love unexpected trail magic like that...it's so cool and fun and completely makes my day. I am in a fantastic mood for the rest of the day.