Oh the People You’ll Meet

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.

Our runner friends Jose, Ramon, Olga and Francisco at Guffy Campground

About Natalie

Natalie Fisher is a dancer, teacher, silk aerialist, and choreographer. She is inspired by the wilderness. Her work involves finding the seam where her worlds of dance, aerials and the wilderness meet.

6 thoughts on “Oh the People You’ll Meet

  1. great story nat. i remember duffy camp and the steep trek down to and back up from the spring. we saw a bear cub in the area and bears had torn up some garbage left there. made us a bit nervous to camp there, but what to do. i also remember eating at mcdonald’s and regretting it later, and leaving with 5 1/2 liters of water from cajon pass (the most i’d ever carried) and camping at the bottom of the climb and hitting it early in the am to avoid dehydration. hope you find more such lovely experiences of trail magic and companionship. keep the stories coming. socks

  2. I just want to know how are you guys, and how is trip going on? I met you at Guffy campgroun. what a great time we had with you guys!!!! I hope everything is going on well!!!!

    1. Hi Ramon! We’re now at Agua Dulce. Taking a rest day and getting ready to cross a corner of the Mojave!
      After our climb up Baden-Powell, we decided it was definitely crazy to run up it 🙂 The view was great at the top, well worth it!

      1. Thanks for the picture Natalie!!! God bless you through your journey, he will give you the power you need. Can I post a pic of you on my facebk?

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