Trail Angels of the Pacific Coast Trail… I Have My Own

I am ever so lucky to have my wife, Peggy, out on the route supporting me. Most PCT hikers mail their resupply to Post Offices along the way. Peggy will be at trailheads to supply mine plus give me a day’s break from hiking. I suspect that there will be a cold beer in there as well.

 

People who go out of their way to support through-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail are known as Trail Angels. My barber, Ed McBee, is such a person. He has written a book on vehicle access locations on the PCT in Oregon. But, more to the point, he also goes out on the trail to greet through-hikers and provide them with fresh food and cold beer. One of his favorite locations is on the Oregon-California border. Trekkers who reach there have hiked from the Mexican border and are ready to celebrate! Knowing how much a cold brew is appreciated out on the trail, I contributed to Ed’s beer fund last summer.

Ed is now working on a book about people doing the PCT. “I feed them hot dogs,” Ed told me. “They are much more likely to talk to me.” I’ll bet. There is no telling what somebody who has been hiking 20-30 miles a day while living off of backpacking food will do for a hot dog! Now, make that a beer and a hot dog…!

Backpacking food is adequate for getting down the trail. Just barely. I have never seen a fat through-hiker. The food has to be light and compact to carry on your back. And while you try to find high calorie food, it’s hard to pack much more that 2 to 3,000 calories for each day. Now, consider that you are burning 4-6,000 calories, daily. Hot Dog? Bring it on!

Below is what my food for 90 days looks like. I tried to compromise between things I like and things that might be a little healthy. Those Oreos you see in the back certainly don’t meet the second criteria,  but they are a treat. I’ll be eating two per night, along with my 16 ounce cup of tea. (When I was a poor student at UC Berkeley ever so long ago, lunch was always a cup of coffee, a baloney sandwich and four Oreos.) The #10 can you see in the back is chicken teriyaki. It includes 10 dinner’s worth of food. Instructions are: Add one cup of the freeze-dried dinner to 3/4 cup of boiling-hot water. Cover. Wait 4 minutes. Stir. Cover and wait another 8 minutes. Eat. Life is pretty darn simple out on the trail.

Peggy organized my food for me while I was taking care of other miscellaneous chores and then took this photo. It’s what I will be eating on the trail over the next three months.

Here is the resupply packed in the van. Our sofa/bed comes down and actually covers the food.

Most PCT-ers would kill to have the kind of back-up I will have on my thousand-mile trip. I have my own trail angel, Peggy. Once a week or so, she will meet me where the PCT crosses a road and resupply my food, plus have a cold beer ready (grin). Our plan for most resupplies is to work in a layover day where I can shower, wash clothes, pack in some calories (imagine being able to eat whatever you want to eat), and put up a post or two on my previous week’s experience.

Peggy assumes her ‘where is Curt’ pose. She sees her role as backup (when she isn’t hiking with me) as her own adventure since she will be traveling and camping on her own.

Who knows!? Actually I carry an emergency Spot geo-tracker that I can use in an emergency, if needed, and can keep Peggy and family informed of where I am each night.

Anyway, here I am in black and white, ready to hit the trail. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

I even developed my own ‘business card’ for the trail. (grin) The photo is taken from our front patio. Next week I will be hiking around the mountains you can see in the distance on my way south!

FRIDAY’S POST: I wrap up my MisAdventure series for the summer. Was I actually able to stay out of jail on my graduation day from high school.

SUNDAY’S POST: I am going to reblog a really nice post from my friend and fellow-blogger out of Sedona, Arizona, JoHanna Massey, that she wrote in support of my journey.

 

32 comments on “Trail Angels of the Pacific Coast Trail… I Have My Own

    • Real it is G. 🙂 Peggy says she will! And thanks for all of your support. I’m off the net tomorrow. My first post should be up around the 23rd or 24th. See you then! –Curt

  1. Absolutely great! If you were on stage, I would say “break a leg,” but that doesn’t seem appropriate for a hike. 🙂
    So I will just wish you the best. I will be among your many virtual companions as you go down the trail.

    • Thanks, Ray, and you are absolutely right about the break a leg. 🙂 Appreciated. I’ll be off the net tomorrow and on the trail Sunday. My first post should be up around the 24th. -Curt

  2. Hi Curt,

    Happy Father’s Day!

    We are wishing you a safe and great trek with many enriching experiences that we look forward to reading.

    Pardon me, if you will, as I humbly offer suggestions for the movie to follow. If there are echoes of Sheryl Strayed’s story, as well as “Forrest Gump, you can blame an over-active imagination while staring out a window at the oil field camp on Alaska’s North Slope this last week. The film opens (this is just a suggestion) with a close up of blistered feet, followed by expressions of agony, but then (and here is the genius I offer) the scene dissolves to stocking feet on a fine wood desk of a university president. As the camera moves up and pulls back, we see you as a student protester holding forth on free speech, anti war, and civil rights. Other scenes developed to be spliced in would be various African events (ants, VW careening away from large beasts, writing a children’s book), etc. Of course, to enhance interest in today’s audience, raunchy sex in an alley should not be forsworn. Just shotgunning here…

    Happy Trails, David

    • Curt told me to be sure and read your note when I was back in civilization….grin. So here I am, coffee with scone and watermelon, spoiling myself rotten and thinking about Curt on his continued journey. Loved your image and will pass this on to our film producing nephew Jay who will be joining Curt for the third segment. They should have a lot of fun with this!

  3. I would be thrilled to be doing either part of this trip – the hike or the resupply driving! (I am having sprinter van envy right now.) Have a great time, both of you!

  4. Good to see the mention of the Geo-tracker. I’m not surprised, but it’s still reassuring. Still, as long as you’re taking Oreos, I don’t anticipate any problems. They’re great for soothing depression, can survive humidity or being crushed, and I hear they’re even legal tender in certain areas of the wilderness. Tally-ho!

    • Those Oreos are precious, Linda. They, along with baloney sandwiches and coffee got me through Berkeley. I think even a bear might have a hard time taking them from me. Thanks. –Curt

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