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: