I was awoken this morning when Boston and Cubby passed by my sleeping spot a few feet off the Timberline Trail. We exchanged pleasantries and Boston suggested I would catch up with them later. Not too likely as I had planned a detour before going to bed.
Mom's birthday is the first and I had no cel service. The two ADT hikers were the only people I had seen in twenty four hours outside of a couple of motorcycles zooming past. I had poor maps for the ADT route as well so the decision to come down from on high was simple.
I went south toward Taylor River Road, which I reached in an hour, then continued to the reservoir also named after the Taylor fellow. On the eastern shore I spotted what appeared to be a trading post. Next door was an even greater revelation, the Nugget Cafe.
Inside I encountered one of those perfect storms long distance hikers dream for weeks about. Everyone asked about what I was doing and offered help. Clint and Jan let me use their phone to call Mom. The waiter had the cook make me the biggest Reuben he could and threw in half an apple pie for good measure. Table neighbor and PCT hiker Mark bought lunch. Best of all, Steve and his family invited me out to join their camping trip for the day.
Patriarch O.K., a Baptist minister, led the group of generous Texans. Son Steve resembled Timothy McVeigh, which was unfortunate since at the time of the famous bombing he was living in Yukon, Oklahoma (they haven't kicked him out yet). Brother Peter, a psychology professor, favored "The Daily Show's" John Oliver minus the Brit accent. He and his wife Lynette, who teaches English as a second language, live in Plainview, Texas.
Several teenage children and a couple dogs made up the sum total of those assembled. They had been coming to the Taylor River area to vacation for many years. Steve reminisced of the halcyon days when the Aspen bomber lived in the woods beyond. This particular loon delivered explosives to the door of two banks in the ski resort before killing because the voices in his head suggested he looked like Patrick Duffy in 2009.
That night we sat around a make believe fire and told stories. Peter and Lynette of their visits to Kenya, Steve of his bike trip from Texas to Vancouver, Peter's son Ryan of the large hole he had drilled into his ass when he slid off a patch of snow into an unmoving pile of rocks. I countered with the same boring crap you've heard about here. I was just glad to be back in civilization, surrounded with new friends.
10 miles/2734 total miles