So I’m descending 12,000-foot Mount Flora, solo after leaving Og (aka Porter) to continue north on the Continental Divide Trail.
“Gail?!” a woman calls out behind me. Who the heck could I possibly know out here? And I’m like, “Uh, ya, and you are?”
“Yogi,” she says. “I met your husband up the trail and he said to watch for you.”
“THE Yogi?” As in author of Yogi’s Pacific Crest Trail Handbook, Yogi’s Continental Divide Trail Handbook, and Yogi’s Colorado Trail Handbook, the definitive guides to the trails and trail-town resupply stops that pretty much every thru- and section-hiker, not to mention trail-angel, can’t do without?
She smiled modestly. This of Yogi and me is one of the pivotal photo-ops of my entire hiking life.
Yogi is completing her second Triple Crown–thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail.
“Do you need a ride from the trailhead anywhere?” I asked.
“Winter Park,” she said. “But that’s the opposite way from where you’re going.”
“I am totally taking you to Winter Park,” I said.
She lifted her pack into Angel2, my Trail-Angelmobile.
“What’s your base weight?” I asked. As ultralighters with pack base weights of 12 and 11 pounds for Og and me, respectively, on the Pacific Crest Trail, and 8 pounds for Og on the Continental Divide Trail, I was bursting with curiosity.
“I don’t know, I don’t weigh my pack,” she said.
Say whaaaat? On our drive to Winter Park, we talked about what she carried–a real, enclosed tent, in contrast to our 7 oz. tarp, a significant sleeping pad, all kinds of gear that I could never manage. But look at her legs! She’s solid babelicious muscle.
Over lunch in town, we talked about navigation (she relies on map and compass, in contrast to so many, including Og and me, who now use Guthooks and similar apps), nutrition, and other things that would make you ask “and you’re telling me this because?”
Dedicated to the well being of a national community of hikers, Yogi assiduously gathers, updates, and publishes the essential info about the trails and resupply towns. I feel I speak for the larger thru-hiking community when I say I simply cannot imagine how we’d prepare for and succeed on our PCT, CDT, and CT hikes without Yogi’s generous sharing of her extraordinary gifts, knowledge, and hard work. Thank you, Yogi, with a deep bow of gratitude, and an outpouring of appreciate Love!
For Yogi’s absolutely invaluable guidebooks and other products: https://www.yogisbooks.com/.
Thanks for another great post, Gail. So glad you met the almost mythical Yogi. Continued good luck to you and Porter during the remainder of his hike.
Frank, thanks for your good wishes, they mean so much to us, and they’re working! We hope you’re having a wonderful summer!
You and Og have a special attraction to good acts in your lives. Great post Gail.
Thank you, Kathleen! We think of you and Jeff and your adventurous spirits so often out here!
It is always a thrill to meet our heroes–those who have gone before us and show us the way forward. What a serendipitous meeting way out there in the wilderness. One of the great things about undertaking a lifestyle like you and Og have is the community you’ve come to know. Thanks for sharing your adventure! xo
Community is intensely palpable out here on the long trails. We feel so blessed that you’re part of our community of cherished friends.
You are always a generously appreciative spirit, and It’s so appropriate that you’d share that with Yogi.
Marian, your own generous spirit is one of the many things I appreciate about you!
Only you, Gail!!! Could be “run into” by Yogi on CDT!! Always a story and, our lives are so much the better for your trail tales!! Living it with you and “OG!” OMG what adventures!! HUGS!!!! Jane and Lloyd
Jane and Lloyd, thank you and big hugs backatcha!
I’m not surprised that you ran into Yogi. You have that kind of Karma. Hike safe.
Jerrie, it was pretty amazing. No doubt you have many great Karmic experiences yourself!
Another totally serendipitous joy coming from the experience of putting yourself out there in the unknown without expectations! Your willingness to encounter & endure the rain, sleet & snow with the sheer pleasure of meeting YOGI is an inspiration.
Barbara, serendipity works wonderfully, as you know from the many ways you yourself embrace life!
Wow this is so cool Gail! What a lucky meeting:)
Thanks, Marylee, it was cool to meet Yogi!
It’s like me meeting you, Gail 🙂 So fun to meet Yogi and sharing the wisdom and fun. She sounds like an old soul!! Blessing to humanity.
Sue, yes, it’s like you and I meeting, such a blessed happenstance! Yogi does seem to be an old soul and a blessing to humanity, like you!
Hi Gail and Porter,
What a wonderful delight to be able to share your experiences, perspectives and insight together with Yogi! It must have been great fun to compare notes regarding the three arduous trails and adventures while covering the East, West, and Coastal trails. You are BOTH amazing Gail. And I’m sure you were equally filled with admiration for each other, not only as accomplished writer’s and hikers, but also with your positive attitudes, focus, and fabulous love of scaling the mtn.s of North America. I’m sitting here smiling just thinking about what an unexpectedly marvelous encounter,( and thanks to Og for helping to bring you two fantastic women together). You should frame the first photo where you two are sharing a smile with the great Rocky Mtn’s behind you. I also loved the picture of Yogi with her yummy sandwich and onion rings. Both of you women need to devour a few more meals like that, especially considering how many calories you burn while tackling the wilderness, inclines and descents. Take care dear friend, and thank you for dropping into class at the pool every now and then. We’re always Thrilled to see you! Love, Andrea