7/4/18 – Trail Magic

Day 14

Miles: 1,224.07 to 1,207.30

“Are you the Canadians?” the guy asks. He is huffing and puffing up a steep hill with a sleeping bag attached to outside his backpack that itself is likely heavier than everything I carry combined.

“Nope,” Dave replies.

“OK,” the guy says. “There are people in the campground doing trail magic. Beer, pop, some food. They are waiting for some friends.”

The words trail magic resonate in Dave’s ears and he no longer mentions camping by one of the cool looking lakes we walk by.

The downhill is excruciating. Long and rocky and then there are more rock, sharper yet, but finally we are down, ready to walk into the campground, set up our tents and enjoy the magic. That’s when we see them. The trail angels are watching us through the trees and what the heck… taking a pictures of us. Strange. I’ve never seen trail angels excited about hikers like that before.

We wave at them. They wave back. We get closer and it’s like what the heck again. That’s Larry and Amanda, our friends we met at mile 200 last year and hiked several hundred miles with through the forest. But how can that be. They should be hundreds of miles away on a road trip.

It turns out they wanted to surprise us and then continue trail magic on their way back north to Canada where they live. The van they were traveling in broke down, and so they rented an SUV, loaded it with cooler full of soda and beer, and drove 10 hours to a Saddle Pack Campground where they knew by Swayed’d InReach locator we should be arriving sometime that day. What a wonderful surprise!

The timing could not be more perfect, Saddle Pack Campground is our today’s destination so we pitch tents, build a fire, roast some sausages, share many laughs, and finally at nearly 11:00 p.m. crawl to the tent to get some sleep.