Day 17: McFlurrys And Trail Magic Saves The Day.

May 27, 2021

Mile Marker: 352

Miles Hiked Today: 24

Izzy thought she would get a lot of sleep being in a nice campground…. But being in lower elevation led to a hot night… which led to a hot full Izzy… who was burning up all night and woke up sweaty on more than one occasion…

The moon is also incredibly bright still. I kept wondering who had their flashlight on between the trees until I realized that it was the moon! Whooops.

So bright night and sweating like crazy. I slept little and when 5 am rolled around I was over it and got up.

We got back out to the trail and had our eyes set on a mid day break at a known McDonalds off the trail.

We had 14 miles to knock out as quickly as we could.

Surprisingly I was still in good spirits as the trail had us staring into the gorgeous mountains ahead of us and we were able to have some breakfast pizza. 😁

Planner compared the AT to PCT perfectly… The AT was stubborn. It was going to make you climb straight up a mountain and back down it. The PCT was arrogant. It was going to assume you knew where to go, it was also going to make you walked all the way around an area to make sure you see all points of it.

Stubborn and arrogant trails. 😂

However, incredibly beautiful.

We flew through the mountains and then came to a sign that said:

We laughed as we were surprised they had actually put this on a sign. Whoever did, had to know that us hikers would flock to this area.

Planner and I and a couple others were the first to arrive around 11 am and we ordered us some McFlurrys and found a nice shady spot outside between the McDonald’s and gas station. Nothing is better than ice cream on a hot day. Yummmmmm.

It then very quickly, became the spot to be. Hiker after hiker kept filing in for the hours to remain while we all stayed there to siesta and stay out of the heat. I think at one point there was maybe around 15 of us sprawled out in the grass under the trees.

I made myself comfy and kept going back into the gas station for goodies and filled up water in the McDonald’s. I spent most of this siesta FaceTime my parents and getting to know fellow thru hikers.

One guy had let me know that a pretty famous ultra runner, Timothy Olsen, is going to try to beat the record on the PCT for completing it the fastest! He is starting June 1st and we assume we will probably see him in a couple hundred miles. Which is insane. The current record I believe is around 53 days…. 53 days?!?!?

After socializing for a while, around 3 pm we decided we should head out as we still had 10 miles we wanted to hike.

As we were walking down the road we saw a guy sitting in his suv and he shouted out to us that he is doing trail magic and offered us food and a drink.

WHAT!!!!! Our first food trail magic!!

We were both actually stuffed but couldn’t deny him so we took his offer and sat with him for a while.

He was one of the sweetest people we have met yet. He made us some veggies sausage and told us about when he hiked the trail and how he loved living in the area.

As we headed out he gave us best wishes on our journey and left Planner and I both with huge smiles for the trail.

Man, we had forgotten just how special trail magic like that can be. For both hikers and the person doing it.

We then continued on the trail going through tunnels and then started the big climb up.

We both ended up hiking by 4 pm and knew that we would probably get to camp late but didn’t mind much. We had had such a full, happy day thus far.

We then were charging uphill and I stopped dead in my tracks as a fat snake laid across the trail.

Planner and I quickly went up this small hill to avoid being near it and then as I was coming down the steep side, slipped and hit my hip hard as my pack was also full of water. Thankfully I just got scratched up and the snake didn’t come after me so I was able to laugh it off.

We hiked and laughed and started getting loopy again. For some reason when the sun is going down after hiking many miles we just kinda lose it.

We also met another hiker named “Some Guy” who started 5 days after us?! He is trying to hike the trail in 99 days so he is averaging about 30 mile days.

Around 8 pm we made it to a camp spot that had one guy in a tent and two people cowboy camping who I had talked with earlier; Andrew and Whippit. There wasn’t much room left unless Planner and I also cowboy camped.

We didn’t want to hike on as we knew the other camp spot would be full too so I, for the first time, am cowboy camping! It felt so easy to set up and I don’t feel as nervous since there are people all around me. Look at us all matching! 😂

As I started to get snuggled up we actually had 3 more hikers join us who found lumpy spots to lay down as well. Like Planner had said, the PCT is arrogant and just assumes you will figure it out. 😂

I’m currently laying on my sleeping pad and am staring at the stars. The Big Dipper is right above me and I think I may, may be a fan of this cowboy camping.

Iz and Oz

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