Day 0 – Friday April 13th
In preparing to hike the PCT over the years, I read so much about two amazing trail angels in San Diego who open their home and their hearts to countless hikers every year. Barney (Scout) and Sandy (Frodo) Mann are two retired professionals who completed the PCT together in 2007 and since that time Scout has completed the Appalachian Trail (ADT) as well as the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), making him one of the few and respected Triple Crown long distance thru hikers. I couldn’t think of a better way of beginning my own adventure than spending an evening with these two incredible people in their home along with 38 other hikers from around the world. And I couldn’t have been more right. Scout and Frodo are truly amazing. Not only do they host hikers from March until May, they pick them up at the airport, put you up for the night in one of their guest rooms ( their three children are all grown and living elsewhere), in one of the five large tents in the back yard or if you’re really lucky, in their incredible tree house which Scout and his son built which features electric lighting, a loft and a queen size bed. But it doesn’t end there. They prepare a delicious home made dinner and dessert for everyone then host a post dinner talk. Our dinner consisted of stuffed pasta shells (with ricotta and mozzarella cheese, Swiss chard, ), garlic bread, salad, roasted broccoli, and maple sliced cupcakes with home made butter cream icing. As Sandy says, it’s important that ” our hikers” start the trail well fed. Following dinner Scout and Frodo had a post dinner talk with the group in their back yard. The talk consisted of a little history of the trail, safety, personal responsibility, looking out for each other and trail etiquette. It wasn’t long before the sun set and everyone headed to their assigned tents for a restless sleep in anticipation of the big day. Wake up call is 05:00, which I don’t think anyone will need !!!!