Hiker Heaven – 0 miles
Hiker Heaven. I’ve been reading about this place as long as I’ve been reading about the PCT.
We arrived yesterday afternoon, shuttled here by Tripod, a volunteer who has hiked the PCT himself three times. You enter through the gate in the wall surrounding the yard. There you are at Hiker Heaven headquarters. To your right are two tents, to the left are four dog beds and the laundry station with bins of loaner clothes and laundry bags to put dirty clothes in. Next to that is the garage, piled high with packages. Beyond the garage and house is a yard full of tents and two trailers where the couples can sleep and where the TV, shower and kitchen reside. Dogs run around everywhere getting pet and loved on and cooed over.
Tripod gave us the run down:
“First thing ya do, ya go put your name on the list for the shower. That’s gonna take awhile. Then, ya come back here, grab some loaner clothes, put all your dirty clothes in a laundry sack, write your name and bag number on a post-it, stick it to the tag on the bag and put the bag in the garage. Country Gold will do your laundry and leave it in a basket on the porch over there with that sticky note stuck to it. Bring the basket back to the garage when you’re done. If you’ve got a package waiting for ya, its in the garage. There’s the computer tent. There are four laptops in there if you need a computer. There’s the mail packaging tent, if you need to mail something. If you don’t know what size box to use, just ask us. There are some sewing machines in there if you need to patch anything. That’s the smoking hill up there. You can get service up there if you have AT&T. Don’t camp there because that’s where the dogs all run every time someone drives down that road. I tried to tell some kids that the other night and no one listened to me and the dogs ran through there all night. Pick a camp spot down there, but not too close to the fire pit if you wanna get any sleep. There’s a kitchen if you wanna cook something, but do your own dishes. There’s a shuttle to town every hour, and go ahead and sign up for the shuttle to REI if you need to go tomorrow. Any questions?”
A computer tent? Laundry? Shuttles and showers?
The Saufleys have been hosting hikers for years, ever since Donna Saufley picked up some hikers and let them stay in their guest house overnight. It started out as a casual thing, back when only a handful of hikers passed through each year. I don’t know if this is true, but I heard that they used to take the hikers out to dinner, something that would be completely impossible these days, with around 3000 hikers attempting to thru hike this year.
Hiker Heaven is now a well-oiled machine. They have thought of everything. The most surprising thing to me is that it is the only trail angel stop where no rules were posted at all, yet everything ran without hiccup. Donna Saufley buzzes around all day here and there, sometimes wheeling her grandson along with her in the wheelbarrow. She cleans up over here, sorts mail over there, shovels horse manure out there. She never stops and seems completely unperturbed by anything. She is lovely.
It feels so safe here. I feel so well cared for. It’s going to be very hard to leave tomorrow morning.
My zero today was full of chores. I went to REI to get some insoles for my shoes to see if that helps the pain in my feet. Also, I had to get groceries for the next leg, and schedule some blog posts. It ended up being quite a busy day. I still have yet to have a totally relaxing zero day. Tomorrow we hike on. Sigh.
Today’s zero was powered by the hope of more comfortable feet.
Date: May 26, 2016
Hiker Heaven – 0 miles