A couple weeks back, I stopped at the ranger station at Carson Pass to look up some species of birds that I'd never seen before. The book I grabbed off the shelf was the Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada. Beautifully illustrated and well laid-out, I found the information I needed right away.
Tonight, I had dinner with John Muir Laws, the author. And not just any dinner but salmon, quinoa and ginger cake for dessert. And a selection of fantastic beers. And not just with Jack Laws but with a crowd of botanists, herbalists, biologists, friends and family.
How do I luck into these situations? I have no clue. All I know is that I was hiking along at about mile 1205, trying to figure where the trail crossed a paved road when a truck pulled up and the young folks inside asked me "Are you hungry? Do you like salmon?". Turns out this group from San Francisco State University was setting up an outdoor dinner up here in the mountains for 50 to 60 associates and they invited me to join them. I begged not to impose but they insisted. I wound up having a fantastic meal, amazing conversation and was treated like a guest of honor!
I was certain that other hikers wouldn't believe my good fortune until Gut Feeling (pictured seated) showed up to indulge and witness.
Stranger still, Jack told the story of the recent sighting of an ACTUAL wolverine here in the Sierra. First in more than a hundred years and he was one of the folks in the field trying to find it or evidence of it - which they did. Did you know that the plural form of 'wolverine' is 'wolverine'? Know what wolverine eat? Marmots!
Coincidence? Serendipity? Providence? Luck? I don't know. What I do know is that I felt incredibly grateful to Emilie, Mark and their crew for preparing and serving such a fantastic meal and to Jack, JR and the faculty and students of SFSU for making me feel so welcome.