PCT Day 18... Mount Baden-Powell

All I had to do today was simply hike 9 miles from where I camped to Islip Saddle where Jeff was going to pick me up from the trail.

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The first mile of the day took me to the top of Mount Baden-Powell at 9,405 feet tall. Baden-Powell is the founder of Boy Scouts program over 100 years ago. I had no idea until I started the PCT that there was a mountain named for him. One of my favorite quotes of his is from a letter he wrote to be delivered after his passing,

"Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate, you have not wasted your time but have done your best."

It was a spectacular view from on top of the mountain - a 360 degree panorama of breathtaking beauty. I spent about 30 minutes alone on the summit, just taking it all in. After that, I made my way back down from the peak and continued with the hike. It was a relatively easy scramble for the rest of the day; for the most part, it was downhill with some patches of snow obscuring the trail in a few places.

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I arrived at Islip Saddle at 11:15 am, and since I had a little cell service, I was able to learn that Jeff had been delayed on his way up due to a road being closed, forcing him to backtrack and take an alternative route. I rested at a bench that was mostly shaded. While I waited, I saw two massive ravens in the parking lot. One of them kept pecking at its reflection in the parked cars, showing how you sometimes get those little dents in your vehicle that cannot be explained.

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Just before Jeff arrived, two German hikers joined me at the picnic table and pulled out their lunch.  They had cheese and peanut butter wraps. It was clear when Jeff arrived; he drove his van. No ordinary van, he had modified it to be one cool van. It was funny to see the Germans expressions when he pulled up, especially as I got in.

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We drove to Jeff’s home, which is about 2 hours from the trail; a small town near the ocean. His house is lovely, sitting on the edge of a canyon with a view from his backyard to take your breath away. Jeff's wife's name is Kristin, and they have three lovely girls, Taryn (7yrs) Ellasyn (5) Morgan (2) and one boy Coleton (1).

 Within 10 minutes of arriving at their home, I was able to jump into the shower, and it felt great to wash the dirt off and feel clean again. I spent the rest of the day relaxing and taking a dip in their hot tub where the girls joined me.  We played Marco polo before indulging in a fantastic bowl of chili for dinner.

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Tent site to Islip Saddle

Miles Hiked: 9

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