A string of good luck continued yesterday when I stumbled upon a cooler of frozen sports drinks. The cooler was intentionally left curbside of a dirt road near Lassen National Park. Never meeting the couple (Ralph and Sharon Thompson), I gleefully gulped down this homemade wilderness slushie, with some assistance from my trusty pocket knife.
Thanks folks if you find this blog one day.
The kindness of strangers in small town America is a rarely told story that repeats as sure as the sun rises and sets each day.
Throughout my travels across the country I've caught a break time and time again from Americans expecting absolutley nothing in return.
This isn't even the first time I've stumbled upon a cold red sports drink. About five years ago, cycling in Idaho, 45 miles from the start of nowhere, I rolled upon another curbside drink. The Good Samaritan was nowhere in sight. A note was scribbled and tucked under the bottle, "Rock on cyclist."
This week the city of Chester was good to me.
Hitching in 12 miles from the trail took some time. But a kind-hearted woman eventually wheeled me in to town on her way through.
And soon after I arrived I met two wonderful women at the local library. First, Carlene, a summertime resident, bought me lunch at the local cafe. Her wealth of experience as a phone operator in a previous generation was fascinating. Surely the definition of privacy has taken on new meaning these days.
Then after her shift, Mary Ellen, the volunteer librarian, took me into her home, let me stay the night, fed me pork chops, cracked open the beers, and even bought me breakfast! Hours of conversation flew by as if she was a long time friend.
Not to push my lck, I returned to the library the next morning to tend to some internet chores. But as fate may have it, Dan, a retired local, offered to drive me back to the trail at closing time. How could I say no?
How can I say thank you enough to these people?
Probably just pay it forward.
God bless America. I'm a lucky guy.
PCT Mile 1,374.8