Contrary to the doomsday bear mauling scenario to look forward to while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, flickers of hope also dot the trail in the form of angels and magic.
Unfortunately, for those who prefer bible scripture and the production of animals from articles of clothing, we will not be addressing these interpretations of angels and magic here. The PCT's angels often trade wings for trucks, and rabbits for water and snacks.
Sometimes when you are feeling down on the trail because of lack of food, water, morale, companionship, or sunshine, something unexpected comes along and makes all your troubles disappear.
This is trail magic.
Said magic can manifest itself in a variety of ways along the trail: a water cache in the middle of a long desert stretch, a surprise hiker picnic serving up freshly cooked meals, some cocaine packing strippers joining you at your campsite, or even a magical woodland toilet facilitating the comfortable expulsion of bodily waste (reading material included).
However, like a leprechaun, if you are looking for it, you are not going to find it. The magic of the trail cannot be counted on or sought out, but should you find yourself showered in the magic of the trail, it will surely serve as a comforting reminder of why you decided months ago (years ago?) to hike the PCT in the first place.
Some selfless individuals (like Mr. Craig and his planner) take pride in the helping of others.
These people are the Trail Angels of the PCT (and other hiking communities).
Trail angels are responsible for a large percentage of the trail magic that takes place along the PCT, and it is their commitment to PCT hikers that helps to restore faith in humanity. Many of these fabulous people are hikers themselves, and they understand what weeks and months on the trail will do to a person both physically and mentally (it turns them into filthy disgusting delusional maniacs). Said angels offer a wide range of trail luxuries including places to stay, hot showers, freshly cooked meals, rides into town, mail service, laundry service, and more.
Although someone giving a hitching hiker a ride into town could be technically be considered a trail angel, some people are well-known as established angels along the Pacific Crest Trail, and they provide hikers invaluable services year after year.
PCT TRAIL ANGELS
Through the years, I am sure there have been (and will be) countless trail angels. Luckily for hikers, many of these people have also taken advantage of the internet to answer questions and provide instruction.
Hikers are of course expected to be as courteous as humanly possible seeing as trail angels provide their time and services at no cost to hikers (although donations are customary and appreciated).
Thank you in advance, Trail Angels of the PCT.