Today our Mountain Communities Hiking Adventures Group hosted a free lunch for the Pacific Crest Hikers coming through the Lake Arrowhead section of the PCT. The group all chipped in to volunteer their time, talent and groceries to feed the PCT hikers who were more than excited to have some fresh food out on the trail. We provided hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, chips, kale salad mix, fruits, cookies, candy, nuts, granola bars, soda, water and more.
We had a couple of guys on the bbq’s, Johnny and Roberto who did an excellent job. We served 70 hamburgers and quite a few hot dogs. The veggie burgers and kale salad were a big hit as were the apples and cuties. The hikers don’t get many fruits and veggies on the trail.
This morning two of our fellow hikers went out 3 miles to set out signs to entice the hikers to stop by for a free lunch. The hikers started coming in a few at a time and by 1 pm we had over 25 hikers who were super excited to see us and the feast we had set out just for them. We had so many nice compliments – “It was the best spread they had seen in the first 300 miles.” “Name brand soda, this is awesome.” to quote a few.
The hikers surprised me as I thought they would eat and get back on the trail. Many of them stayed for hours to chat with us, other hikers or lay out and take a nap. The hikers started in Campo, CA which is at the Mexican Border and have hiked almost 300 miles in 30 to 45 days. They still have to hike an additional 2,350 miles to reach the Canadian border.
Coincidentally the Forest Service was out cleaning up litter from the non-hikers who come out to this area to drink and party and leave their trash behind. Part of this event was to do trash clean up as well so it was great to have them there today.
It was such a great way to spend the day chatting with hikers from all over the world…. Germany, Israel, Taiwan, France, Estonia, Canada and from the US …. Georgia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, New York, Washington, California, Hawaii and Pennsylvania and many more places. I even got a few new tips for my future backpacking trips from what kind of food to take to how to shave weight from my heavy pack.
We are now officially Trail Angels of the PCT and we will hopefully make this a yearly tradition.
The definition of a trail angel I found online.
They are all part of a small network of outdoor Samaritans called “trail angels.”
These self-appointed volunteers assist long-distance hikers on one of the most grinding outdoor challenges in the world — comparable, many say, to summiting Mt. Everest. And they do it with little or no compensation, other than the grateful smiles and a chance to share in the adventure of the PCT.