Trail Angel– [treyl] [eyn-juhl] noun.
A generous person who performs angelic acts of goodwill to thru-hikers.
We arrived in San Diego to meet our first Trail Angel, Boomer, a theology student who thru-hiked the PCT last year. Boomer (& fam) picked us up from the airport, are hosting us at their beautiful home and are driving us to trail head tomorrow. The generosity of strangers is amazing. It’s so restorative to one’s sense of good in the world. Today we cycled along the beach in the warm Californian sun, picked Boomer’s brain about all things PCT, got last minute supplies, re-evaluated all our gear, re-packed and re-laxed.
Tomorrow we leave behind flushing toilets, wi-fi, electricity, running water, beds, closets of clothes… life as we know it. The funny thing, though, is that even though it feels like we’re travelling back in time, we’re merely joining countless millions who live today without those things. But then, they aren’t just on a walking holiday. They’re working, cleaning, striving, mothering, fighting to eek out a living… But tomorrow our two worlds may collide. We may encounter some of these determined impoverished tomorrow – illegal immigrants who have risked everything in an attempt to enter the US. And these “hikers” brace the harsh Californian desert without guidebooks or high-tech ultralight gear or even trail angels. But I know that they too have angels watching over them.