I heard many interesting stories while in North Cascades National Park, talking toIMG_3803 hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Their reasons for doing this long trek from Mexico to Canada were as numerous as the trees along their route, but at the heart of each one was the desire for adventure, to prove to themselves that they could do it.

One of my favorites was Cheeky. Pictured with Belay (these are their trail names) he came all the way from Ireland to make this trek. I’ve already forgotten a lot of what he told me, but his sweet nature has stuck with me. Employed in marketing back in Ireland, he wasn’t sure if he could go back to that after making this hike. I’m not sure I could either. I hope he keeps in touch.

We met when I was waiting for breakfast. I’d finished kayaking across the lake to the petroglyphs, and was enjoying a good cup of coffee. Up walks this polite young man with an accent. He needed cash and offered to pay for my breakfast with his credit card in exchange for the cash. (No ATM in Stehekin). And so I said yes – in exchange for his telling me about his trek.

He told me one of the more scary animal stories that I heard. This did not happen to him personally, he was told the story by another hiker. It concerned a mountain lion, one of the scarier and most mentioned hazards of the trek. This particular beast was large and hungry. He followed a young man who tried scaring him off, and when that didn’t work, he next locked himself in a pit toilet he happened upon just at the right moment. He waited in the overwhelming smell and flies for over half an hour, cracked open the door and the lion was still pacing outside, waiting. Eventually the young man fell asleep from exhaustion, and when he awoke the next morning the lion was gone. He left the trail and didn’t get back on until a good distance later.

More to come.

Source: Barbara Tyner WordPress Blog

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