I learned quite a bit during my first 3 weeks on the trail. First, I was doing more miles per day than I had planned for. This resulted in coming to towns every 3-4 days and spending quite a bit of money in town. However, I had been staying in hotels, eating at restaurants, so it is understandable that money was being quickly depleted from my bank account. I knew that I needed a new strategy, before I ran out of money. I also knew that staying with trail angels is part of what makes each hikers experience on the PCT, unique. So, I decided to find a trail angel to stay with, while in Wrightwood.
We spent the morning and afternoon in the small town of Wrightwood, resupplying, eating, drinking and resting.
I posted to the PCT Class of 2017 Facebook page, inquiring about where to do laundry in Wrightwood and someone replied with a list of trail angels in the area. After leaving a few voicemails, I was able to reach Jeff and arrange for myself and my 7 friends to stay with him, for my first overnight trail angel experience.
Note to Future PCT Hikers: join the PCT Facebook group for the year you’re hiking. If you ever have any questions, need anything, or are in a pickle, post to this page! It is a great resource and I’ve seen many people receive responses and prayers answered within a few moments!
Jeff arranged to pick us up from town, and drove us to his house. He has a camper in the back yard with room for 2 to sleep in. In his garage, he has a queen mattress and a twin mattress, for 3 to sleep in. He has a spare bedroom with 2 couches and plenty of floor space to sleep. He also has a loft bedroom, which he rents out on AirBnB and gives a huge discount for PCT hikers. This is where I slept.
Jeff and his wife allowed us all to shower with clean towels and allowed us to use their washer and dryer. Jeff’s wife made us oatmeal cookies in the morning. Not only did they give us cookies, Jeff opened the door as the trash men were outside picking up their trash, and ran cookies over to the trash men. He then told me that they had been making cookies or cinnamon rolls for the trash men, every week, for years now.
It is known that if you stay with a trail angel, you donate $20 a night to them for the accommodations. Jeff refused any money from us, besides the discounted AirBnB room. Him and his wife not only have a lovely home, but giving hearts.
Needless to say, my first over night trail angel experience, well exceeded my expectations. Thank you so much for your hospitality and kindness Jeff!