We did not get a very early start, but had a pleasant and relaxed morning breaking camp and gearing up. Before hiking out, one of the many budding journalists out on trail wanted to get some tape of Papa Joe talking about hiking and his experience as one of the most well known PCT trail Angels. It was nice to see Papa Joe get that kind of recognition. Joe is a humble man, but there is difference between seeking notoriety and accepting gratitude and acknowledgment.
What a gorgeous day! We talked about this almost every day – that we were running out of words to describe the loveliness we were living in and passing through, but that a failure of human vocabulary did nothing to lessen the impact of being there and soaking it in. Another day of varied terrain, beginning in forest, climbing to meadows dotted with clear blue lakes, and rugged alpine peaks.
We told stories as we walked and enjoyed being together. Knowing that this time in our lives was coming to an end did not yet sully our moods or darken our spirits. This is the day we found a place that Joe had seen as a youngster on a camping trip. Near the Rae Lakes, a boulder stands alone in the middle of the creek. And on this camping trip many years ago, young Joe and his buddies saw naked hippies lounging on the rock and playing in the water. We were not that lucky, but how cool is that to come back to the same spot some length of years later and you can still recognize it! That said, it was naked hiker day and Joe still got a little show.