Helping hands

by Gillian Larson | posted: August 6, 2014

With our new supplies Shyla and I continued north out of Chinook Pass on Tuesday, and once again I was reminded of how thankful I am for all the people who help to make a ride like this possible. Besides getting the food and water we needed (and having Carol's generous offer to drive out to help if we hadn't been lucky enough to find another good Samaritan), at the same time that I was riding, my aunt Karen and my cousin McKinley were making a heroic trip to move my truck and trailer to the ending point of this section at Snoqualmie. I had a different person who had originally volunteered to do that chore, but who ultimately found it impossible to carry through, and I know myself how much driving (and over sometimes difficult terrain) is involved in that and how sometimes even good intentions aren't enough. So I was incredibly relieved when Karen and McKinley were willing to step in at the last minute--even though they live in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, and it was going to be over 900 miles of driving for them (in fact, they got a late start and didn't return home until 6 a.m. the next morning!). As if that wasn't enough, however, I also encountered by chance one of the PCTA officials, Bob Woods, who had been corresponding with my mom and me for the past several weeks, telling us about trail conditions and giving us updates and helping us make decisions about what our next steps should be. After getting so much helpful information from him, it was a real pleasure to actually meet him. And he was there in the Norris Peak Wilderness bringing supplies to a crew who was working on trail maintenance--another thing that makes it possible for the rest of us to even have a trail in the first place. I got to meet some of the trail crew and thank them in person for all that they are doing (and tell them how I often wish there many more like them!) to keep the trail as safe and passable as possible. It was definitely a day to remind me how even when we think we're out here solo, hiking or riding all on our own, none of us do this journey alone.


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