“No, we’re going on up to Mt. Whitney,” the husband replied.
“Sounds like a great trip,” I said, while thinking: Wow, that’s pretty ambitious for a couple of old folks.
“Are you just getting started” he asked.
“Yes,” I said, “We’ve just hiked up from the Cottonwood Trailhead this morning.”
As we chatted, his wife looked from the five students to me. “Are you all one family?” she asked tentatively.
The students laughed and I chuckled, “No, we’re a high school group. We start each year with a camping trip.”
“That’s fantastic! What a wonderful school. Where are you headed?”
“We’re actually also heading north as far as Crabtree Meadows, and then we’ll bushwhack west down to the Kern. We plan to hike out on the west side at the end of the week.”
“Congratulations,” they both exclaimed. “You kids will be really proud when you complete that trip.”
Feeling both pleased and reassured by their enthusiastic praise, one student decided to reciprocate with our group’s support for their trip. “So, where did you get started?” he asked.
The husband and wife glanced briefly at each other, and then she turned to us and said, “Well, we started this trip on the Mexican Border.”
“When we reach Whitney,” the husband added, “we’ll have completed about 800 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.”