Guffy Campground. Mile 364.5
From Cajon Pass (where we indulged at McDonald’s) to here is a 22.5 mile stretch without water. -We were grateful to find a water cache 5 miles into this stretch which allowed us to dry camp halfway to Guffy.-
We have finally arrived at water and camp. Tired and mildly dehydrated. And the camp is full. Music is blaring from car stereos. I forgot it was a holiday weekend. Everybody is in the woods for a party, and many are still attached to their cell phones.
Backtrack wanders off to look for the spring while Blaze and I sit on a log on the edge of camp. Not wanting to stay, too tired to go further.
Suddenly, from behind us, we hear a shout ‘girls come over here!’ I see my dad holding a bottle of something orange and talking with some new friends… who offer us soda and Olga’s fish soup when we trundle over there, still wearing our packs.
We gratefully accept, and while I try desperately not to spill an overflowing bowl of soup, a great evening begins.
Our new friends are long distance runners, up for the weekend training. They run marathons to ultra marathons. We are fascinated by what they are doing (they run up the mountains we trudge up), and they in turn are amazed at our journey.
More runners join the group, and we discover that they are friends with most of the people in the book Born to Run. Two of them are also winners running the 100 mile race that passes through Guffy Campground and up Mt. Baden-Powell on the PCT.
Us hikers with our heavy packs are stunned. We stare at that mountain and contemplate how in just another day we’ll be slowly slogging up it, we cannot comprehend running up it.
We thankfully accept all their offers of food (so much better than the rehydrated glop I was going to eat for dinner).
Stories are shared while we enjoy watermelon, (and watching Blaze spend an hour to finish a giant piece of watermelon), avacados, corn roasted over the fire, and marshmallows.
I bring out the guitar and Blaze and I sing for our supper.
The stars come out, the conversations continue, the campfire burns bright, and around it, sits a circle of long distance runners, and long distance hikers. Each thinking the other is maybe just a little loco.
Oh the places you’ll go, oh the people you’ll meet.
Magic happens in the most unexpected places.