I just watched this trailer for an upcoming documentary on the PCT by some 2014 hikers.
Oh, man… The tears come easily. These are my people. This is the life I want to be living. I can’t think of a better way to spend one’s time. It’s too painful to be away from it. I am astounded by the scenery and the ease of the people. I need to go back there as soon as I can.
For those who have asked who the people that thru-hike are and what age categories they fit into, this is a good visual representation.
I love the title, too…
Also, here is a recent article from the LA Times on a few of the amazingly generous and selfless trail angels on the PCT.
“There is a quote in Hebrews,” Donna Saufley says. “Something along the lines of, ‘To show hospitality to strangers is to entertain angels.'”
“I think people basically want to help, but it’s so complicated — ‘What’s the best way to help a homeless person? Where do I start?'” Strayed says by phone. “With long-distance hikers, the needs are so simple and the payoffs are direct.”
The trail angels explain their generosity by raving about the types of people they encounter. Like Donna Saufley, most consider helping the hikers a spiritual — almost churchly — endeavor, something they were ordained to do.
“We’re our better selves out there,” she says of the hikers she helps.
But she sees the long-distance hikers unload more than just unnecessary gear. She talks fondly about the payoffs of being a trail angel: witnessing the hikers’ emerging humanity, their grit, their brio and the inevitable baring of souls.
Traveling the trail “is humbling,” she says. “I compare it to the peeling of an onion. You see people for what they are.
“I have to say, far and away, these are some of the most interesting people on the planet,” Saufley says. “I always say that it’s a river of life that washes up to my shore.”
For Saufley, the transformations she sees in people are a fair trade for the expense and fatigue.
“They go out for the nature,” she says of her long-distance guests. “And they end up finding the peace within themselves.”