Pacific Northwest Trail; mile 550

Tuesday, September 3, 2019; day 45

I woke to the sound of a car driving down the paved road behind me. So many car encounters on this journey. I went to retrieve my charger from the bathroom. It is now 0604, I am sleepy.

I begin to pack up my things and collect water from the campground spigot.

Soon Asa was packing up as well.

It felt nice to wake up in the company of another.

He took spoonfuls of peanut butter, and I drank an instant coffee/protein/maca shake as we sat around the picnic table.

Asa was familiar with the Pipsissewa Trailhead, and offered to walk me there.

We chatted a bit longer, exchanged contact information, and hugged goodbye.

“I always tell other cyclists to ‘keep the wind at your back!'”

“That’s a nice thing to say! Thank you!”

I wished him the best of luck in his amazing journey.

Then, we both set off!

I gazed down at Bonaparte Lake.

I travelled through a logging area, and a section where the trail had been cleared of many blowdowns.

As I hiked, I decided to follow the Original PNT Alternate. I would follow the Mount Bonaparte Trail, then join the Antoine Trail, which reconnects with the Primary PNT.

The trail was clear, and I was able to move quickly.

Soon the PNT briefly meets the little community of Havillah. There is a church there that is only .3 of a mile off of trail. It is said to be very hiker friendly, providing hikers with water and snacks and a place to camp. I hoped to make it there before dark. The miles immediately proceeding Havillah were roads, flanked by private properties.

Havillah is a beautiful little community.

As I approached the church, two graceful young bucks and a doe leaped over a distant fence.

The trail magic was more than I had anticipated. They had a little bulletin board at the side yard of the church, welcoming hikers to collect water and camp either outside, or inside the unlocked building.

I was elated.

It was dark, I moved around inside with the red light of my headlamp. Atop and inside the fridge were containers labeled “For PNT Hikers”. They contained a variety of snacks and food and fresh apples! There were even frozen meals for hikers, in the freezer! I could not believe it. It was certainly some of the best trail magic I had encountered on any trail. I was extremely grateful.

I enjoyed the fresh fruit and microwavable meal of quinoa and grains.

I placed my things to charge and set myself up for sleep on the soft carpet.

I fell to sleep in a space of good-heartedness, filled with thanks.

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