Sweet Things and Rewards

Earlier, I told you all about my wonderful trail family, but I hadn’t yet had the chance to tell you about a sweet thing they did for me and how they were rewarded for it.

When I hurt my achilles, there was a day when I needed to hike 16 miles to town in order to be able to get off of the trail. There was no road access anywhere closer. I had no other option. My foot was causing me a lot of pain though, and I was limping pretty badly, and I was feeling really unsure of myself and of how far I could make it that day. I knew I needed to make it to town that day though, because:

1) I’d be out of food by the end of that day

2) My friend was available to pick me up that evening

3) I needed to get off of my foot ASAP and take care of it to reduce the pain and swelling

The morning that a 16-mile hike to town awaited me, I hesitatingly got up, got dressed, and slowly walked from my campsite to the trail, full of worry and insecurity. As I neared the trail, I saw my trail family, whom I had thought had left hours before, standing in a circle as if having some sort of meeting. When they saw me, they explained that they decided that they would each take a pound or two of my pack weight and leave me with just my backpack, food, and water, so that my backpack would be light and not put extra pressure on my hurting foot. I was so pleasantly surprised and in awe that they would so such a thing, I almost cried!

That day, my backpack weighed less than 10 pounds. I got to town much faster than I thought I would, got to spend the day relaxing with my family before having to say goodbye, and in the evening, my friend, Shane, AKA Cap-Cap, came to pick me up and take me to my mama’s, where you saw how she took really good care of me in a previous post.

But first, I asked my mother if she could please do me a favor to thank my trail family for their kindness. I asked her if, when Cap-Cap picks up my car from her driveway to drive it to Warner Springs to pick me up, could she please put a cooler full of drinks and some snacks in there so that they could experience some trail magic that evening?

Flash forward: Cap-Cap drives up late at night, when it’s cold and nearly everyone is asleep. I tip-toe through the silent campground, whispering, “Friends of Free Spirit, there is trail magic for you in the parking lot!” and sleepy hikers crawl out of their tents, rub their eyes, and stumble in the darkness towards free food.

And the food! There was so much food! My sweet mama had filled every nook and cranny of Gypsy, my Subaru, with homemade Russian food (perogis, cheburekis, etc.), freshly made sandwiches, potato salad, cookies, crackers, chips, candy, soda, chocolate milk! It was amazing! Everyone was fed and took seconds to their tents for breakfast tomorrow morning. And most importantly, everyone felt spoiled and loved and cared for, just like I did when they lovingly carried my weight for me.

Here are some photos of that night:

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About elinatravels

I’m Elina Oliferovskiy, a Russian-born 26-year-old restless soul who’s never really found a place to dig her roots in deep ever since I moved to the United States in 1998. I’ve lived in a 39-foot RV with 8 people and a Chihuahua and road-tripped around approximately 38 states for 1.5 months. I’ve packed my car and headed north without a destination and ended up in Big Sur, CA and lived there for a bit. I recently moved to Bend, OR without ever having been here prior (simply went off of the recommendations of others). And I just came back from a trip to France, Luxembourg, England, and Ireland and have many fun stories to share. My alter-ego is Free Spirit (my trail name on the PCT) and I am an aspiring solo female Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker, who’d hiked half of the trail in 3.5 months in 2016 and a did a one-month section hike in 2014. I started this blog to chronicle my attempt to get from Mexico to Canada on foot via the PCT. I have also hiked in England, Luxembourg, and hope to hike the Camino De Santiago (St. James’ Way) in Spain and the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand, as well as many others. I love challenging myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, exploring and meeting new people who introduce me to their perspectives on life and allow me to be part of what they hold dearest to their hearts, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone in order to try exciting new things, and seeing, tasting, smelling, experiencing all of what this wonderful world I live in has to offer. This is why I travel. This is also why I move frequently. I’ve been moving somewhere new nearly every year, and I absolutely love my lifestyle. Now, I am deciding between teaching English in Vietnam, working remotely from New Zealand, or moving back to CA and woodcarving for a season. We will see what happens in the fall/winter of 2017. For now, I plan to stay in Bend, OR another few months and absorb all I can from this wonderful little (though rapidly growing) town. Feel free to follow along my journey by reading and commenting on my blog, adding me on Facebook (search for Elina Oliferovskiy and write me a message telling me you are a follower of my blog), or emailing me at elinatravels@mail.com.
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