It’s getting late in the season as many Pacific Crest Trail hikers strive to reach Canada before the snow begins to fly in the Cascade Mountains of Northern Washington. Many of them have traveled well over 2000 miles on foot from the Mexico border to reach this point. They have undoubtedly walked though many hot sunny days, climbed over many mountain peaks, and gotten rained on at least a handful of times. It is an amazing accomplishment to finish, and it takes a lot of heart and, sometimes, a little help. We love the thought of such a journey and wanted to put together a trail magic day to let these hikers know they aren’t alone out in the wilderness. We wanted to give them some support both mentally and physically to accomplish this extravagant goal.
We are Ross and Tara Shafrath and we have been living in our 17-foot trailer traveling the US for the last five months. We sold our house along with most of our possessions, quit our jobs and set out to follow our dreams of traveling. We have dubbed ourselves The Microtourists, capitalizing on the definition of exploring the lesser know areas and aspects of tourism. We tend to camp off the grid, shop local, and the best part, work with smaller companies in an effort to promote the products and people we think are “doing it right!”
Wild Zora is one of those companies, and when we reached out to them about putting together a “Trail Magic” day and passing out supplies to hikers making this tremendous journey they were more than happy to hop on board. They sent us breakfast and dinner meals to give away, as well as their meat & veggie snack bars. We also received some sample packs from Cusa Tea to hand out. What more could you want as a hiker heading into the cold rain of the final stretch other than a hot meal and some tea as you sink into your sleeping bag at night? Nothing! So, that’s what we planned to give them.
We arrived at Steven’s Pass around 10:00 am the morning of our planned giveaway. We set up our supplies in the 50-degree mountain air and hoped for a good turnout. It wasn’t too long after we plopped down in our chairs that the hikers who had spent the previous night in the lodge started to come through. Some were from the West coast, some from the East, a few Midwesterners and even a couple who had come from over seas all for a shot at this glorious trail. We passed out the gifts and talked about their journeys up to this point. Many described all they had been through and, after roughly five months of walking, their longing for success, and home.
“It’s really cool that you guys are doing this,” one hiker said, expressing true gratitude, “Many people wouldn’t stay up here on a cold day like today. I hope it doesn’t rain later.” As soon as he said it, the grey clouds that had been rolling though began to sprinkle drops of cold water down onto us. “It’s a lot worse for you guys than us,” we said as we climbed into our truck, and they pulled out raincoats and pack covers to continue on into the woods. Plus, we had a job to do. Those supplies needed to get into the hikers hands!
We waited for the rain to clear and hopped out as we saw other hikers approaching the trail heading northbound on the trail. We didn’t want to miss any of them. We understand that even a little trail magic can be a big boost. After about an hour and a long stretch of no hikers coming though, we decided that maybe hikers coming into the lodge would chose to stay instead of continuing on this raining day. We were right. As we climbed the stairs with the boxes in hand we saw several more hikers hiding out under the covered roof of Stevens Pass Ski Resort. It didn’t take long for us to walk though the building to pass out the rest of our supplies.
We met a lot of cool hikers and made a lot of people’s day by handing out the food and drink. How could we not enjoy what we get to do? We are the boots on the ground and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Thank you Wild Zora and Cusa Tea. You guys are making a difference in our journey as well as all those hikers continuing north toward the border. We all will continue on as well and we invite you all to follow along with us on instagram @themicrotourists or check out our website www.themicrotourists.com.