The Southbound Herd! Jason, 'Giraffe', Cassandra, Shirley, and Yannick
On the 15th, we awoke at The Anderson's home called "Casa de Luna".  Besides the infamous moon from Terrie that we got when we had our picture taken, the name Casa de Luna comes from the idea that it takes Northbounders about one month to get to their home.  I rested so well on their sofa with a beautiful down blanket to rest my sore legs on!  Another slice of heaven-I tell ya, we'll have seen many glimpses of heaven by the time this trip is done!  :)  Joe made us some very yummy pancakes for breakfast and then we headed out to the trail around 9:20, which is so late for us!  The temperature was already high and we had several climbs to do plus very exposed terrain to cross-I was walking in a daze...It was so hot I just wanted to lay down in the shade and stare into the atmosphere.  We had our sights on getting to the Saufley's though, and all of the stories and laughter from the Anderson's gave us enough mental stimulation to occupy the time!

Several hours later, I was walking down the trail and saw a white van down by one of the roads we were crossing.  I thought it might be Heidi's van (other hikers we've been traveling with) but then when I looked closer, I noticed it was Terrie and Joe!  I was in tears at the sight of them, because I was just feeling miserable in the heat (not to mention some diarrhea issues I've been having for the last couple of days...forgive me for the maybe not so "civilized" picture, but that's just how it is!) and felt like we had such a long way to go-they were a sign of normalcy, comfort, humor...I guess more so it was the love I felt...They took time out of their day to drive all the way around to come and meet us, and bring us such a simple thing as a bag of ice.  Let me tell you, ice on a HOT day...Heaven! :)  And hugs and more "Anderson-ness", it was a well-need rest and dose of hiker-love...

We finally entered the town Agua Dulce by way of road-walking, and while doing this, a car pulled up slowly and then asked our friends Yannick and Shirley quickly where we were coming from and if he could buy us all dinner!  You bet! :)  Another example of "Trail Magic"...hopefully you're getting a good picture of what that term means! :)  So there we were, sitting on the patio of this cafe, ordering fish n' chips, burgers, meatloaf, lemonade...And our new friend Scott kept us entertained by his many stories and we couldn't have felt more blessed to be treated in such a great way!  We departed fairly late into the night with full stomachs and more mental stimulation to chew on, and made our way to the infamous Saufley's home, a.k.a. Hiker Heaven.  They are THE trail angels of the PCT! 

We decided to stay for three nights-two zero-mile days!  It's just THAT awesome here!  :)  Donna and Jeff have a separate mobile home equipped with everything that we might possibly need-and I mean it.  So we've been treated to our own bedroom, movies-galore, coffee, bathroom with bathtub, pizza place that delivers, internet access, Donna doing our laundry (best laundry service on the trail!)...the list could go on...

W e said goodbye to Yannick and Shirley-they're off to make it to planned meetings with family, and we're on the "walk-as-you-please" plan!  We're hopeful that we'll see them again sometime in the future...not necessarily on the trail anymore, but maybe in our "normal" lives.  We have so many good memories with these two-how awesome it was to have met them and to have had their presence in our lives.  And especially on a journey like this, it's such a bond that you make and we hold that really dearly.  They have great pictures of this last section with us all together on their website, so if you'd like, check it out for their visuals!

The pictures from the Sierra's are still to come...those are going to be amazing!  It was just sooooo beautiful!  I called it a novice photographer's playground because you really could just hold your camera above your head and press the button and have an amazing shot-it's that beautiful.  

We're going to take the Saufley's out for dinner tonight at a Mexican restaurant...I'm so excited for mexican food, my favorite!  And then tomorrow we'll head out on the trail again.  We have a long road walk to do due to a fire closure of the trail, but we'll be in Wrightwood soon-then there are only four more stops until we reach the Mexican border!  Now that we're so close, it's all starting to feel really surreal-as if "did we really do it!?"  We've been watching some PCT videos the last couple of days, and seeing the trail from an entertainment perspective is really crazy...It's like "Wow!  That looks amazing!  We should do that!"  But we have done that!...but it feels like we haven't...as if we didn't experience all that we could have...Maybe that's why some people do it over and over again!   Hmmmmm....

not sure we're included in that "some", but we're closer to understanding ;)

10/17/2010 10:57:34 am

So great to read you "own words"! I especially am awed at the Trail Magic. And, the pizza, wow, it looks amazing. But, really, I can hardly wait for the Sierra pics. Have safe hikng, and we really, really, really, look forward to hearing from you!!

jim belanger
10/17/2010 04:49:02 pm

Hey guys you both rock.

As I have been checking up on you, I have been thinking about what type of hiking adventure I
could do.

In other words I'm proud to know you both and inspired by you as well.

God bless you and keep you.
May he make his face shine upon you, loving you always.

May you rise on the wings of eagles as you finish your journey. Keep on trucking, you're almost to Mexico.

Your friend,

10/18/2010 05:12:44 am

"over and over again"?!?! No...i just mean we would miss you, we want you to be in Plain in the summer. What will be will be though. So good to hear you guys are well. Trying to figure out an end of trip visit. Blessings,


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