A zero below the snow

Day 21: Zero in Wrightwood

May 23, 2019

What can I say about a zero in an extraordinarily hiker-friendly town? I can tell you that it was magical. I can tell you that the coffee was free, the ice cream was double scooped, and the “personal” calzones weighed three pounds. I can also tell you that a local school teacher saw us crossing the street and handed us the PCT patches he’d embroidered in his free time. I can tell you that a woman stopped us on the sidewalk, asked us what we needed, and then took us to her house to do our laundry. And I can tell you that no fewer than three separate locals offered to let us stay overnight at their houses.

Businesses in Wrightwood obviously benefit from thru-hiker traffic, but the generosity we experienced while staying in this friendly community stemmed from a place much deeper and more sincere than the “quid pro quo” attitude of capitalism. From the hand-drawn welcome sign at the convenience store to the residents who were genuinely happy to talk with us about our hikes, Wrightwood proved itself to be a true haven for PCT hikers.

Danish racing the snow toward Wrightwood the previous day

A rime-blasted tree on the ridge above Wrightwood

Foot Juice and his “personal” size calzone

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