Day 21

Right after I went to bed last night, my tent got blown over by a large gust of wind, soaking a bunch of my stuff. Then I got soaked fixing the stakes to be more storm-worthy. I didn’t sleep very well after that. At 6am we were both up, so we headed out in the cold. Weather finally cleared up though, so the whole day was a lot more fun.

We hiked mostly on Forest Service roads, with a bit of trail near the end. We had our first (of likely maaaaany) encounters with cows. In this case, big black evil looking ones that didn’t want to get out of the way. I made up cow songs to sing to them while walking by, as it seems they get less spooked if they hear your voice. Otherwise they tend to get in a moo-y panic and run away.

At lunch we met Bob, an older gentleman who is bouncing around Montana, trying to stitch together all of the state’s CDT. He had a rather heavy looking pack, but was in good spirits. It sounded like we will cross pathes again later. He offered us his wife’s phone number in Helena, where we are staying tonight… Very generous.

On that topic, we got a hitch from a nice lady, an she dropped us at the door of a trail angel who I had found on the Internet. He offered us a place to stay and he isn’t even going to be here! He basically gave us a tour of his house then handed me the keys and headed out for a weekend hike.

His girlfriend just dropped by and said her family is making us dinner. Time to go!

Later: dinner was great, then the new Harry Potter movie, then off to bed.

Daily Summary
Date: July 15, 2011
Day 21
Daily Distance: 22.9 miles
Trip Distance: 342.5 miles

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5 Responses to Day 21

  1. susan breiddal says:

    TRail angels? They live everywhere…not just on the PCT-wouldn’t it be fun to be one-cooking for really hungry people…who probably aren’t all that picky. It sounds great so far….xo

  2. Robert Ball says:

    The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels (Early Trail Angels)
    The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels was the name given by Australian troops to a group of Papua New Guinean people who, during World War II, assisted and escorted injured Australian troops down the Kokoda trail. “Fuzzy Wuzzy” was originally used by British soldiers in the 19th century as a name for Hadendoa warriors on the Red Sea coast of the Sudan, and referred to their elaborate butter-matted hairstyles. The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels were named for both their frizzy hair and helpful role.

    In the year 1942, during the Pacific invasion, the Japanese had built up a force of 13,500 in the Gona region of Papua with the intention of invading Port Moresby. The key to the offensive was an overland track across the Owen Stanley Ranges. The track ranged from the small village of Buna on the north coast of Papua and went up the slopes through Gorari and Oivi to Kokoda. The track was approximately 100 miles (160 km) long, folded into a series of ridges, rising higher and to 7,000 feet (2,100 m) and then declining again to 3,000 feet (910 m). It was covered in thick jungle, short trees and tall trees tangled with vines.

    On 29 August 1942, the Japanese task force broke through the Australian line forcing the Australians to retreat further back to Templeton’s Crossing. Eventually, the Australians were forced to retreat to the shipping port of Myola.

    4000 Australian lives were lost in the campaign. It is speculated that this number would have been much larger had it not been for the help of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels. As one Australian digger has noted:

    “They carried stretchers over seemingly impassable barriers, with the patient reasonably comfortable. The care they give to the patient is magnificent. If night finds the stretcher still on the track, they will find a level spot and build a shelter over the patient. They will make him as comfortable as possible fetch him water and feed him if food is available, regardless of their own needs. They sleep four each side of the stretcher and if the patient moves or requires any attention during the night, this is given instantly. These were the deeds of the ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’ – for us!”
    No known injured soldier that was still alive was ever abandoned by the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, even during heavy combat. As of Anzac Day 2007, only three of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels were still alive. In July 2007, grandsons of Australian World War II soldiers and grandsons of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels took part in the “Kokoda Challenge”.
    May the Trail Angels watch over you Ryley and Chance. Happy dry trails.

  3. Robert Ball says:

    A famous poem by Sapper Bert Beros which illustrates the effort shown by the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels:

    The Fuzzy Wuzzies

    Many a mother in Australia
    when the busy day is done,
    Sends a prayer to the Almighty
    for the keeping of her son;
    Asking that an Angel guide him
    and bring him safely back –
    Now we see those prayers are answered
    on the Owen Stanley track.
    For they haven’t any haloes
    only holes slashed through the ear
    And their faces worked by tattoos
    with scratch pins in their hair:
    Bringing back the badly wounded
    just as steady as a horse,
    Using leaves to keep the rain off
    and as gentle as a nurse
    Slow and careful in bad places
    on the awful mountain track
    The look upon their faces
    Would make you think that Christ was black
    Not a move to hurt the wounded
    as they treat him like a saint
    It’s a picture worth recording
    that an artist’s yet to paint
    Many a lad will see his mother
    and husbands see their wives
    Just because the fuzzy wuzzy
    carried them to save their lives
    From mortar bombs and machine gun fire
    or chance surprise attacks
    To the safety and the care of doctors
    at the bottom of the track
    May the mothers of Australia
    when they offer up a prayer.
    Mention these impromptu angels
    with their fuzzy wuzzy hair

  4. Tom B. says:

    “Consider the cattle, grazing as they pass you by. They do not know what is meant by yesterday or today, they leap about, eat, rest, digest, leap about again, and so from morn till night and from day to day, fettered to the moment and its pleasure or displeasure, and thus neither melancholy nor bored. […] A human being may well ask an animal: ‘Why do you not speak to me of your happiness but only stand and gaze at me?’ The animal would like to answer, and say, ‘The reason is I always forget what I was going to say’ – but then he forgot this answer too, and stayed silent.”
    — Friedrich Nietzsche (Untimely Meditations)

  5. Jimmy says:

    I want to hear the cow songs when you get home

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