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[pct-l] Memorial Day Memories
In the theme of memories comes this one in 1977 on a PCT thru-hike:
I arrived in Tuolumne Meadows early Friday morning before Memorial Day
weekend expecting to pick up my supply package only to find that the TM
post office hadn't opened for the season yet. A ranger informed me that my
box would be waiting for me down in the Yosemite Valley post office, so I
began hitch-hiking to the Valley.
I arrived at the YV post office at exactly 5:05 PM to find it closed for
the long weekend. Without money, food and with bedraggled clothes from the
long stretches of snow in the high Sierra, I was desperate. I looked
around and found a ranger who took one look at me and assumed I was one of
the common scum. I told him of my plight and he said I was just out of
luck and would have to wait until Tuesday. I said I couldn't wait that
long as there was money, food and clothing in the supply box sitting in the
closed post office. I guess it was the words "supply box" that triggered
his curiosity to ask, "What are doing here?" I said that I had just walked
from the Mexican border to get here and was very tired and beat. He
exclaimed, "Well, why didn't you tell me that you are hiking the PCT!? Let
me see if I can find the post master!" and off he ran!
He came back in a few minutes and revealed that the post master had left
for the weekend to go fishing up in the back country and couldn't be
retrieved and he had the only key to the post office. He thought for a
minute and then asked me how he could help me in any other way. He asked
"How much money do you need to tie you over until Tuesday?" as he reached
for his wallet. He loaned me $40 and asked to be repaid when I could,
Tuesday or whenever.
On Tuesday I finally got my box out of the post office and went looking for
the ranger. I found him and returned the money. He said, "Hell, I didn't
expect to get it back or see you again!" and I said "For the benefit of
future PCT'ers who need a hand I didn't want to spoil the act of kindness
you showed me, thank you". He wished me luck.
The many acts of kindness found on the trail are truely one of the great
things about the PCT. They come without asking, without strings or request
of repayment. They are one of the clear things that resound without
diminishment twenty two years later.
Greg "Strider" Hummel
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