& To all the others who made it happen
Most of our blog readers know by now all the amazing energy that UB created with his first post about meeting Patti a month ago in the San Felipe Mountains. There was certainly an unspeakable connection when we first met him. He said he was afraid of the dark. Of course, we’d be afraid for him. We spoke often of our brief encounter with UB before we stumbled upon his post uploaded that one sleepless night in Agua Dulce.
We aren’t sure if UB had taken his trail name yet, but he introduced himself as Chris. Trail names are given to distinguish hikers. It’s a bit of a badge when you finally get one. The weekend we met Chris, Patti was midway through radiation treatments. She had remarked how ironic it is that most doctors are hesitant to order x-rays because it could lead to cancer. But once you have cancer, since that shipped has sailed, it doesn’t matter. The x-ray procedures and nuclear medicine tests are numerous. Patti remarked that she must be glowing by now, thus her name, Glow-in-the-Dark. Upon meeting Chris, we tried out the new trail names. He loved it and so it stuck.
On Friday last week, UB and a list of some 25 or more hikers whom we’ve never met, collected at Hiker Town at sunset to set off on a night hike in collective tribute to Patti and her fight against breast cancer, and anyone else with a battle. We will link UB’s video below, along with another or two that we’ll explain, too.
What UB didn’t know when he, Muk Muk, Blondie and others, were putting together plans to do this glow-stick extravaganza along the California Aqueduct just south of Tehachapi, was that we ourselves had problems with the section the hikers were about to approach. We are hoping the glow sticks warded off the bad and blessed the trail for us so when we re-try, it’ll be easier for us. Watching Muk Muk’s video of her hike at Tehachapi in the wind was what we went through as well. Unfortunately at the time we were there, we did not know Patti was anemic from a prior chemo session. That and the ridiculous winds at 30 – 40 mph would help to explain a lot.
What UB set off has become very humbling and emotional for us. Words just cannot adequately describe how much this has affected us, all in a good way. Never did we dream the encounter we had would lead to an inspired night hike. In Patti’s fight against cancer, she has used the trail as her focus to live life, not cancer. We have been together over 25 years and I have not seen so much Irish stubbornness as I have witnessed in this fight. We have a long road yet, finishing treatment in mid-October. She continues to push herself to the limits, and jokes that her eyes are too big when she plans these hikes. In-between surgery, recovery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, we have done six hikes totaling 100 miles, out of 214 miles done in total of the PCT so far. There certainly will be more hikes to come.
We want to thank all of those who have shown their support to us, through the blog and/or with the night hike. There is so much love that can be felt through UB’s video and all the help everyone has put in to this to make it happen. It is truly amazing and life affirming how we can touch each other’s lives with simple acts of caring. The love, strength and support we have received has helped us as we prepare to conquer the last leg of this medical “hike.”
3-Guy and Glow In The Dark (because it was better than Bald Girl)