Day 96 – 7/16/15
Miles – 3.6
Total Miles – 1428.8 (PCT 1374.0)
The plan was simple: pack up, hike about 4 miles to JJs Cafe for breakfast, at 10:00, hitchhike to the PO for our box and then hitchhike back, do our box, hike out around 1 or 2, and try to get partway across the Hat Creek Rim. We slept in because we had the time. As we were finishing packing, GG showed up. She told us that just 10 minutes toward town, we could get showers for $3.00 at the RV park. Well we changed our plan and added showers before doing anything else. We walked over and found that the RV park office does not open until 8:00, we had a 45 minute wait. As we were standing there trying to decide what to do a thru hiker named Lord Vader asked us if we were The Ravens? We said yes. He told us the that an old teacher of ours was here at Old Station yesterday looking for us. From our blog we knew that this had to be Dave and Marji Thomsen. Dave was a woodworking teacher we had at Palomar College. We were excited and sad all at once. We had missed them by one day. Lord Vader also let us use the shower in his hotel room. He was hiking out and was done with the room. He gave us his hotel room key and up the trail he went. Quickly, we took showers and got to use the luxury item of towels, something thru hikers do not have. After the showers, we hiked the 4 miles over to JJs, but our planned breakfast had now turned into a lunch. It was already 11:00 and the PO was now open back up the road. I quickly emptied a backpack and headed for the road to try hitchhiking. I started to hitch but there were very few cars going in my direction. I did not have any luck. I ended up walking the three miles to the post office. Meanwhile as I walked, Dave and Marji had come back to Hat Creek to look for us and found Mama Raven and the kids back at J.J.’s. Soon Dave came to the post office to bring me back (he also picked up and drove five other hikers to JJ’s).
Dave and Marji invited us to their house in Redding for the night and will drive us back up here first thing in the morning. A swimming pool, laundry, showers, and a home cooked meal and good friends. . . we could not pass that up. We have not seen the Thomsen’s in over twelve years. Once at their house we did a lot of catching up with every bodies livers over the years. It was well over 100° outside and the kids wanted to go for a swim. We all got bathing suits on and headed for the pool. Yes, even Mama Raven got in. The water was very warm and we talked and played in the pool for several hours. When we got out, I went back to working on our food box, Mama Raven finished the laundry, and the kids just played. Marji made a delicious “Mexican Mountain” that The Ravens devoured!
Dave and Marji had been telling us about a glass bridge over the Sacramento River that had a huge curved arm that made a giant sun dial, so around 9:30p.m. after it had cooled down a bit, we drove over to see it. It is really amazing. The curved arm went up about 150′ and held the cables which support the bridge. The bridge is a wide foot bridge with thick glass panels you walk on. There are lights below the bridge that light up the glass panels. It was beautiful. The thing that got Mama Raven’s attention were all the spiders. Thousands of them, under the bridge. The spiders and their massive web was as amazing as the bridge.
This whole day was completely unexpected. We are so thankful that this day happened the way it did. Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is far more than just the physical act of hiking. A major component is the human element. Getting back together with Dave and Marji was very special. It was a reunion of old family members.
It’s great when plans do not work out!