Total mileage: 1548
Today’s mileage: 19
We had heard rumors for several days that outstanding trail magic was going on at Ebbetts Pass, and that the trail angel would be here until 5 PM today (June 30th). We raced the final mile and reached there around 4:15. All I hoped for was a soda of some sort. Sadly, he announced he was fresh out when I arrived, and instead kindly offered a banana and omelet. I sat there for 5 minutes or so, and noticed the Japanese hiker next to me had the telltale signs of Coke in his cup. I could see the bubbly around the edges. I looked over at Taters and made a sad face. I could see mischief in her eyes, and before too long, I decided I’d better check the ice cooler just in case. Sure enough, they had two 2L bottles remaining, and the trail angel was just messing with me. He’d been tipped off by Darko and Taters moments before I arrived that all I was craving was soda, and he had done a good job playing along with the ruse. Unforgivable.
We drank our fill of soda and chocolate milk, and feeling now truly slothful, headed out again. He said to let hikers know he’ll remain open an extra 15 minutes. Surprisingly, we encountered maybe half a dozen hikers during the next mile, and told each of them to go full speed on the chance of them encountering the ends of the the trail magic. Their reactions were great to witness. One guy started running and yelling at the top of his lungs, “We’re coming! We’re coming!”
Unfortunately, we didn’t encounter this next pair until about 40 minutes later and it was too late to encourage them to rush to the trail magic. They really could have used it. Momma Bear and her 9-year old son Daniel Boone, had hiked here from Mexico (!). They both had full packs, still with pickaxes and microspikes, and it seemed we met them at a particularly low point. Momma Bear’s eyes welled with emotion several times telling us about recent hardships. I wished we had been carrying a soda or something to share with them, but unfortunately we had nothing worthwhile. (UPDATE: We were all very happy and proud to hear that they did in fact reach Canada in early October! Article here if interested)