The Adventures of Chancing It and Delivery Man
I think we all wished upon a star as a child and begged the divine for super powers. I was pretty stereotypical, I wanted to be Superman. The idea of flying and being invincible, plus, have you seen Clark Kent’s jaw line? It’s a jaw line only fitting for a man who is nearly invincible, besides ya know, a rock from his home planet. Maybe you were obsessed with Flash, being able to run so fast time stops sounds like a good way to never be late to class. I think it’s normal for all of us to wish to have some power that can easily change ourselves but also the world around us. In Summer of 2017 I got my dream of being a superhero. I didn’t have quite the jaw line of Clark Kent nor the muscles, but I did have a power to change someone’s life. Accompanied by my good friend Chance, here is the tale of how I got one of my two trail angel names: Delivery Man.
How the Superhero Duo met
Since most of you are new readers, you may not know who I really am. My name is Tyler, I work at a rock climbing gym down in Southern Oregon and am quite the loudmouth. Because of my ambitious and loud personality, I tend to make plenty of friends. I love climbers, they’re dirty, ambitious, environmentally aware, but above all else they know how to control their egos. I met Chancing It on a climbing trip on this glorious Mountain near Ashland, Oregon. Glorious may not be the right word, but if you’re reading this from Texas or Florida, it might just be glorious. This mountain has some great cliffs to climb on during the summer and make even better ski slopes during the winter.
I get invited and of course I’m down. It sounds like a great way to make some new friends or annoy the friends I already have. We get to the top of the mountain and have to make our way down. I’m accompanied by my buddy Jay and his daughters. The scariest part of this trip (besides meeting Chance) was the traverses over snow in the late Summer. I was cracking up as the only way to control fear is by laughter or crying and I much prefer to laugh. We traverse the snow, suffer multiple causalities, and make it to the other side. Edmund Hillary would be proud. I’m kidding, we all make it safely. We link up with out crew and here’s where I meet Chance.
Have you ever met a giant? Me either, but Chance was pretty damn close. I’m 6ft 1in and when I meet someone taller than me I feel offended. How dare you have better genetics. Gravity either hates you less or you’re just a stronger man than I. Was tallness Chances super power? Nope. I find new people and instantly interrogate them. Strangers are simply friends that haven’t been met yet. I start chatting them all up and something sets Chance apart from the rest… HE WAS A DIRTY THRU HIKER LAST YEAR. What trail you might ask? The wonderful Pacific Crest Trail. Finally, someone with a plethora of info. So I could finally stop searching halfwayanywhere or the PCT facebook groups for every single answer. I instantly start chatting him up.
We start talking, he’s got a cold shoulder at first. How could he not? I’m a twenty-year-old dumby and he’s a veteran of life at 40ish years old. I’m kidding, he may be 40 but he doesn’t look a day over 30. Anyways, he mentions he’s a trail angel and asks me if I ever want to accompany him on a trip. Of course, I do.
Day of Gifts and Deliveries
Chance typically has a cooler up near the Oregon/California border that he stocks with good food. If you have hiked and encountered cheese cake, soda, fruit, or even chips and salsa, chances are you can contribute it to him. He and other trail angels do these things out of their own free will and it’s truly a super power. I’ve accompanied him on a few previous trips just to stock the cooler, but this day is different. This day we will do what him and I call: Guerilla Trail Magic.
So what’s Guerilla Trail Magic? Normal Trail Magic is a cooler on the trail, subways sandwiches waiting on the trail, water caches, a great hitchhike, and numerous other things. However, Guerilla Trail Magic is in your face trail magic. What does this look like? Well listen up you lovely listeners and enjoy the tale of Delivery Man and Chancing It.
This day we decided to grab three pizzas from Little Ceasers. I know, only the highest quality for the hiker trash we were going to encounter. In my secret arsenal I had my mothers home-made zucchini bread, a delicacy only rivaled by food of the gods. We decide we are going to hike on this trail today and bring food to hikers as they are hiking. Yeah! We are GOING TO THEM. Hence my nickname, Delivery Man. We find the spot where the coolers and lawn chairs are at, we get the pizza’s out, and Chance scouts.
This is where the hilarity comes in. I hope you can envision this. Chance would go on the road where the trail runs parallel. He then would shout to me that he sees a hiker and tell me the distance they were. I would then run up to them with pizza and deliver them food while also giving them hugs and good spirit.
Now try to imagine that as a thru hiker. You are hiking along, finally made it to Oregon! Woo! Two more states to go. However, you’re tired, maybe you’re doing a thirty mile day and Callahan’s Lodge is simply 10 miles too far away. You turn a corner and you see a guy who looks nearly exactly like Shaggy off Scooby Doo. He’s got a Pizza in his hands. He’s shouting for you. Where’s Scooby? Are those Scooby Snax? You don’t know, but Shaggy is there with food offering you love, support, and a slice of Pizza.
How I got the Nickname
The example I gave in the previous section was how we spent most of our day. This was the prime of Guerilla Trail Magic, but it wasn’t over. I had a secret weapon, Chancing It knew of the nearest campsite for hikers and we still had pizza and my mother’s legendary zucchini bread. In a last-ditch effort, we decide to hike a few miles into a campsite. It’s nearing 8pm and that’s right around hiker bed time. We’re basically jogging. Doing our best to crush these two miles and make sure we get into the campsite. So here we are, half a pizza, half a loaf of zucchini bread, and we turn the corner…
I had this great idea to announce “PIZZA DELIVERY? Who here asked for delivery.” I got three responses from this question. 1.) “Holy shit, it’s you two again? 2.) No fucking way, man… Pizza, here? What…” 3.) “This is awesome, but I don’t eat pizza.” So Chancing It and I naturally made ourselves at home.
The first voice was from a girl we already delivered pizza to. She didn’t want anymore, but was stoked we somehow were here again. I was glad she wasn’t annoyed of our presence, we were just trying to bring food to good people.
The second voice was from a guy who was trying to crawl out of his tent to get to our pizza. I insisted I would delivery it to him and gave him the rest of the pizza. Then I have him a big hug and wished him goodnight and welcome to Oregon.
The last voice was from an older guy who looked like he just crushed 40 miles. He wasn’t too stoked on the pizza. However, I had my secret weapon, the zucchini bread. I offered him a slice, then gave him the rest.
I gave them all hugs and started to leave but not without finally earning one of my trail angel nicknames. As Chancing It and I turn out backs to the woods I hear a sentence from voice number 2 that was filled with love “Dude, you’re like… a delivery man of the PCT.”
I think we all dreamed of being superheroes when were young. I think this dream has shrouded our vision that we have very real powers to be super to people in our lives. I’m a firm believer in spreading love and friendliness in every situation I find myself in. Chancing It and I are nowhere near Super Man or even have any real super powers. Even if he is super tall and I may be super loud. It’s easy to spread your power of giving someone joy, love, or simply being a friend. Plus, Super Man is weak against a rock.
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