Zac was working hard to catch up with the group this week. Wednesday night he was hiking along a jeep road on his way to Wrightwood. He said that he was up on the ridge and he could see to the north, the lights of the town of Wrightwood and to the west, he could see the lights of Los Angeles. He said that the lights of L.A. made a perfect outline of the coast. He hiked about 5 miles in the dark wearing his head lamp for light. He cowboyed camped (camped along the road under the stars without a tent) about 2 miles from Hwy 2. In all he had hiked 29 miles that day.
The next morning he caught a ride when he reached the hwy from Dejavous, a fellow hiker who had rented a car and was planning to leapfrog ahead. He got his name from the fact he is seen everywhere on the trail again and again. Zac arrived in Wrightwood about 7 a.m. He met Mango and Golden Child at the Grizzly Dinner for breakfast. PCT hikers get 50% off there. He spent the day restocking some supplies, doing some trail research at the library and visiting the P.O. A zero mile day but well deserved. He had caught up with the rest of the group. The group consisting of Apricots, Psycho, Tooth Fairy, Hot Mess, Train, Megatex, Golden Child, Uncle Tom, Axzilla and Slim Jim. They ate dinner that night and watched basketball at a local bar. Uncle Tom’s team won and that meant he would be treated to a free beverage. The beverage of choice that night was called an “Irish car bomb”. A local in the bar was asking all about the group and their travels. He ended up buying a round for the entire group. The car bombs were lined up in the bar and were disposed of in unison. That night the group stayed with Susan and Ray, trail angels, who invited them into their home. They had extra rooms and beds as well a large space for camping in the back yard. They were very nice people according to Zac. He has met some incredible people on his journey. I believe they are answers to a lot of prayers from people who love and care about Zac from all over the U.S.
On Friday he went to the Post Office to check mail one more time before hitting the trail again. He was very happy to get mail from his Aunt Lou and Uncle Dwight, Aunt Beth from New York and his Monty and Granddad from Pendergrass Ga. He always likes to get mail. It is like Christmas for him when he does. He hiked with the group to the South Fork Camp Ground. They camped next to a family that invited them to share their dinner. They had burgers, corn on the cob, watermelon, and wine. Zac also mentioned they had Thousand Island dressing. Not sure why that stood out to him but he puts it on everything. Their two year old daughter, Julie Ann, was fun to have around, Zac said. He let her wear his head lamp and walk around the camp. Her father was very interested on the PCT and walked about a mile with him through the park before turning back.
Today he was starting on the detour around an area that had been burned a few years back. The forest service says the trail in that area is unsafe due to falling limbs from dead trees. The detour is about 45 miles long along paved roads. Last time I spoke with him he was at a McDonalds in Little Rock Creek Calf. The group was waiting for the sun to go down a little before going on. They plan to hike into the night perhaps 10 more miles. Zac said he had bought a kite at some little roadside tourist trap so he could play around with it during the walk tomorrow. I’m trying to picture that in my head and I think I’ll leave you with this image: Zac, walking down a desert road with a 40 pound pack wearing a doo rag, sun glasses, full beard,and a big smile, holding a string, while flying high above him in the sky like a guardian angel watching over, a giant Sponge Bob Square Pants kite smiling down on him and his group. Carry on Slim Jim!