Ziggy and The Bear live along the Pacific Crest Trail in Cabazon, California. They graciously open their home to hikers during hiking season for rest and resupply. As you near their home there are the most beautiful signs posted along the trail guiding hikers from the trail to a little ranch house surrounded by a white picket fence. Ziggy makes the signs herself.
If a hiker chooses to make a stop at this oaisis on the desert she will be treated in the following manner. First the hiker is welcomed by Ziggy who will take down name, trail name and age. This information goes into the record book for the PCT hiker class of 2012, along with a snap shot. Next, as Ziggy briefs each and every hiker on the ins and outs of the retreat, The Bear will bring out a tub of very hot water mixed with Epsom Salts. A footbath for the weary hiker. As the hiker soaks her aching feet Ziggy continues, “Salad is served at 6 p.m., ice cream at 7 p.m. and breakfast is served every morning between 5 a.m. and 6. We know you like to get an early start.”
Ziggy and The Bear have published their address in PCT guides so that hikers can have resupply boxes shipped to Cabazon. Food, shoes, gear or anything important can be waiting in Cabazon upon arrival.
My mom shipped a box and Ziggy fetched it for me when I arrived. My mom added a nice surprise of spicy ginger candy that I was able to share with other the other hikers. New socks to replace the ones that had worn out over the first hundred miles were also in my box. And maps.
I am using Halfmile’s PCT maps for 2012 generated using National Geographic software. You may view them at http://www.pctmap.net. I have my maps printed on waterproof paper and divided up into small stacks, or trail sections, so they can be sent to places along the PCT, like Ziggy and The Bear’s. This helps reduce the weight of my pack.
Ziggy and The Bear have a huge canvas tent in their backyard. It shades out the desert sun and is surprisingly comfortable. There are a number of lawn chairs and tables. There is an icy cold cooler of soda, Gatorade and tea. Another cooler holds fresh fruit. Also, they have a community computer and phone because we hikers try to stay on touch or update our blog when we can. They have a utility sink and clothesline to wash and dry clothes. The Bear said that next year there will be showers.
Ziggy and The Bear labor diligently to keep everything clean and organized. A ton of work goes into their operation. If a hiker is injured they help him find proper care. Each morning Ziggy washes and dries the foot bath tubs. Every evening she goes in to make salad and later, takes ice cream orders. She is up at
4 a.m. preparing breakfast. The Bear runs errands and shuttles hikers when necessary. There is no charge to hikers for a stay at Ziggy and The Bear’s, other then a dollar for each cold drink consumed and donations are accepted but not required.
Matt, Carl and a kid named Alex rolled into Ziggy and the Bear’s shortly after me. We all left the following morning after a restful night sleeping under the great white tarp tent. A few hikers came in late, well after our hosts had turned in for the night. They rolled out their sleeping bags and quickly dozed off. The morning we left the breaskfast was ready just as Ziggy promised. Served promptly were all kinds of cereal, fresh fruit, coffee, and hot chocolate. The milk was whole.