Arrived in Agua Dulce late in the afternoon of the 10th, and hiked most of the last few miles with Zoup, who I’d run into in the tunnel under the interstate (see video – posting 11/14…might be one of my favorites). He had heard me coming so he’d decided to lay in wait for me halfway through the tunnel, and scare me. It was amazing…I think Zoup has an easy second career working haunted houses at Halloween if his first career options don’t work out!
The time here in Agua Dulce, although short, has been rejuvenating. The trail angels here, Jeff & Donna Saufley, have the hosting of PCT thru-hikers down to an art form. They’ve been doing it for about 15 years, and they have thought of everything. Mixed with their total selfless desire to assist us, it makes for an awesome experience. Many thanks to them for their gracious hosting of us dirty hiker trash! :)
To get to Agua Dulce from the tunnel under the interstate, we went right through Vasquez Rocks State Park. It was beautiful, and brought back memories from my childhood, when my grandparents tool me there. Saw the main rock where William Shatner prances around as Captain Kirk from the old ‘Star Trek’ TV show.
The stay at the Saufley’s house in Agua Dulce was what I needed, not only to resupply, but re-organize, wash clothes, and let little hurts heal. Unfortunately, one of our friends, Bonnfire, was diagnosed with 3 fractures in her foot, which effectively takes her off the trail for about 6 weeks. Hopefully she’ll be able to heal, rest up, and rejoin the trail farther up. She’s tough, and a good kid, so please keep her in your prayers!
Another hiker decided to get off the trail as well. No Pain, a Triple Crown hiker (Appalachian Trail, PCT, and Cintinental Divide Trail), in fact an 8 time AT hiker. I interviewed him just hours before he announced to the group at the Saufley’s that he’s getting off the trail. Attempts by others to talk him out of it were unsuccessful, so it seems that he’ll be jumping off at Kennedy Meadows. He’s a grandfather, and decided he has lived the trail lifestyle long enough. Over 11 years, 20,000+ trail miles, and a shift of priorities finally caught up with No Pain. He’ll be missed. I’ll be posting that video later this week after it’s been edited.
I anticipated leaving Agua Dulce early this morning, but realized I had to mail some clothing up north, as it was too much weight to carry the next 250 miles. Also helped Donna Saufley take down a bunch of their large tents they erect each year to help host the PCT hikers, in exchange for a ride to town to do some bank business. (a video of the breakdown will be coming this next week too, as well as a short message from Mama Saufley to the PCT class of ’11.
As for now, I’m back on the trail as soon as I post this, and heading north. Please take a moment to watch my special video message below…thanks!