Lyons’ Pride keeps the ‘bond’ fire burning

During a recent gathering, Lyon’s Pride celebrated more than 15 years of PCT projects. Photo by Ian Nelson.

Pacific Crest Trail volunteers have many motivations for their service. If you ask volunteers what inspires them most I believe many of them would tell you that the camaraderie of their fellow volunteers keeps them coming back year after year.

There are many incredible volunteer crews up and down the PCT. One such crew, the Lyons’ Pride, gathered recently for a reunion to celebrate their years of friendship with one another — and the PCT as the common bond.

John Lyons presents Lance Davis with an award as Gary Lee looks on. Photo by Linda Rostad.

John Lyons of Etna, California, started the Lyons’ Pride crew more than 15 years ago. Some of you know John and many of you have read about him in various PCTA publications. His personal dedication to volunteer service on the PCT is legendary and the food on his crews is well known by volunteers all along the trail. John has stepped back somewhat from his leadership role but continues to inspire his crew members to carry the Lyons’ Pride flag into the future.

After taking a year off in 2017, the Lyons’ Pride crew rallied to host a weekend reunion followed by a few days of trail work on the PCT. In May, the crew gathered at a bucolic grassy campground shaded by cottonwoods along the banks of the Klamath River. While the orioles called overhead, the crew set camp and settled in for a weekend of stories and celebration of their years of service. A Saturday night barbeque was followed by a cake emblazoned with a mural of photos of the crew, some of whom are sadly no longer with us. Their dedication to one another and the PCT, and their love for John, was palpable.

The cake celebrating years of friendship and hard work.

While some of the crew members had to head home after the weekend, others were able to stay for a few days and get some work done on the PCT. The Lyons’ Pride crew members are some of hardest working volunteers I have ever encountered during my nearly 20-year career working on trails. The evenings were spent back at camp along the Klamath River continuing to reminisce about the incredible camps Lyons’ Pride has had throughout Northern California and the countless hours spent cutting back brush and digging tread along the PCT.

And above all, there’s the friendship. The PCT connects them but the personal relationships are their true bonds. They all have contributed to the success of Lyons’ Pride and will continue to do so into the future. After getting together in 2018, the consensus was to do it again in 2019. Just don’t forget the Little Debbies.

Author: Ian Nelson

Ian Nelson has been the PCTA’s Regional Representative for Northern California/Southern Oregon for more than 15 years. He is based in the beautiful Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon and enjoys exploring the many wilderness areas in the region.