Thank you, anonymous hiker

I returned yesterday from several weeks away from my hiker oasis to discover that two oasis-related items on my to-do list had been performed in the meantime.

The “Welcome, SoBos” sign, which had been become bleached in the sun, was refreshed,

and the hiker register, whose binding had become badly worn, had been patched with the tape hikers typically carry to cover blisters.

Thank you to the anonymous hiker(s) who made these repairs. I’ve now refreshed the readings and postcards, so subsequent hikers will experience the oasis at its best.


2019 NoBo thru hiker, Poppins (@mariedraws_thePCT), passed through during my Easter Celebration and created an e-portrait of me during the event. So, this is what I looked like back in late April.

Thanks, Poppins!

Celebrating Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday

I am celebrating Walt Whitman’s bicentennial year at my hiker oasis for all of 2019; however, I decided to do something special for the actual birthday date on May 31.

I put a sign that read “Birthday Party today. Come join us” at the junction of the side trail heading to my hiker oasis

and provided birthday cake, champagne, and lots of fresh fruit to the hikers staying at my place that evening.

We sang “Happy Birthday” to Walt’s cut-out and took turns reading his poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.” A good time was had by all, including Walt, who often speaks of his being present to his readers.


First (and only) PCT thru riders of 2019

I had gotten word through northbound hikers that a brother/sister pair of thru riders were on the trail just south of my place, so I left a “Horse Rest Area” sign along the trail and a note inviting the pair (and their horses) to spend the night at my place, if their schedule put them here about quittin’ time.

On May 30 in the late afternoon, the pair rolled through and decided to take me up on the offer.

They left next morning and I joined them on mare for the ride to Paradise Valley Cafe, where they would meet their support rig.

It was a lovely ride and we got to Highway 74 ahead of the afternoon heat.

The Colors of Cactus

The cacti along the PCT near me are blooming. While cacti are dependable bloomers, the profusion of flowers has certainly been helped along by the large amount of rain we received this winter and spring. I always wonder that cacti (especially the species of the prickly pear cacti) are not cultivated like roses for their variety of color.

The hedgehog cacti are uniformly colored:

as are the beaver tails:

But the prickly pear blooms range from the “standard” pure yellow

to peach or light pink or red.

Sometimes, there is even a variety of bloom colors on the same plant.

With this natural beauty lining the trail, who needs an artificial garden?