by Gillian Larson | posted: August 22, 2016
South along the slopes of Mt. Hood

Yesterday's ride was a long 35 miles, so I was glad to have a shorter journey ahead today, although it took us longer than it should, as Shyla and I discovered lots of ripe huckleberries along the trail, and once we got started picking and eating them, we couldn't stop! We were on our way back to Barlow Pass, where the Tuna Can was parked, and then we were heading south again, where we had an appointment with a horse shoer that we met in 2014, who was going to shoe Shyla again--hopefully the last set of shoes that we will need for this year's ride.

I also got amazing news from a trail angel in Washington who was in the process of going to my trailer and putting new tires on it! Rani and her husband Bob live not far from the PCT north of Cascade Locks, and we had been in casual contact earlier after she reached out to me on my website and kindly made a donation for my ride. I was hoping to get a chance to meet them, and my mother reached out to ask them about nearby tire shops after the incident on the 20th. But as they spoke, we all realized that the next time I would be at the trailer I would have the same problem with finding an open shop, as it would be a Sunday again. Then Rani made the amazingly generous offer to get the new tires for me. I was stunned by their kindness in doing such a labor intensive and time-consuming task; they would have to drive to the trailer and remove the tires, drive to Hood River for the replacements, then install the new tires. And first they would have to find the rig on a dirt road! Thankfully they were both very familiar with the area and the trail--Rani and her daughter had actually hiked the PCT in 2008--and they seemed completely confident that they could get this done. I was almost in tears with gratitude for this wonderful gift, and I still can't believe the outpouring of love and support from them. Once again, the PCT has revealed the depth of kindness and humanity that resides in so many people--and which is humbling to receive. I only hope I can one day do some small part of the same for someone else, to repay the debt of gratitude that I feel.


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