Wow! I feel terrible. I just met two delightful PCT hikers at the McDonald’s in Burney. I took a picture of them, but then I came home and accidentally deleted the picture.
I usually only post a PCT article when I have a picture but in this case I will make an exception because I told them that an article would be posted and I don’t want to disappoint them. The two ladies we met who are hiking the PCT are Alison Blair “Owl” from Brisbane, Australia and Josie Chen “Hardcore” from Taipei, Taiwan.
My wife Linda was hot and tired from doing a yard sale so we went to the air-conditioned McDonald’s for parfaits. As we were going to our seats we saw Hardcore and asked her if she were hiking the PCT. She said that she was and then we were joined by her new friend Owl.
They had just met here in Burney. Hiking the hot stretch along Hat Creek Ridge, she had been feeling a deep loneliness. Previously, she had hiked the entire Appalachian Trail and she had never felt lonely like this. She had never felt anything like it in her life.
She didn’t mind hiking alone. She would see friendly people on the trail, but the conversation generally consisted of “Hi!” Hardcore felt a longing for deeper communion. She decided to come into Burney.
Here she met a new bright and cheerful friend. Hardcore had met a woman who offered her a ride into Redding. Owl wanted to go into Redding, so they connected.
There’s an old saying, “Friends are born not made.” Some people you meet and the resonance is there. You feel that you are meant to meet. Linda and I felt the joyful bond between them.
About her PCT experience, Hardcore said, “The trail provides.”
Owl said, “It’s good to say you are strong, but to be strong and measure it once in your life is a good thing.” Owl is wise.
Linda had an uplifting short conversation with Owl as I talked with Hardcore. Hardcore pointed a finger upward and said, “Now I know why He guided me to come into this town.”
They were planning to go to Redding tonight and then Hardcore intended to hitch a ride to Weed and hike back south to Burney.
Because Hardcore had testified to her faith and gratitude, when the time came for farewells, I asked Owl if it was okay if I said a prayer. She said, “Sure!”
So I thanked God that He had brought us all together, people from three distant countries who were able to feel the love that can unite us all. I prayed that God could guide them and bless them on their journey. And we prayed for world peace, racial and religious harmony and that we could create a culture of true love where children can grow up in a good environment.
Then we hugged each other and said, “Good bye.”
Sorry I lost the image, but I hope you get the picture.