I’m writing from the home of the unbelievably gracious PCT trail angels, Scout and Frodo. I’m hiding under the covers of a twin bed because I’m sharing a room with a stranger — Wendy. Wendy is great. She laughs at everything I say. So either I’m very funny today or she’s nervous. I know it’s been an extremely big day and we’re (all ~17 of us) a bit fragile. I feel like what a feather must feel like, blowing in wind.
This morning I got off my mother’s boat, got on a train to a plane and was picked up in a stranger’s van. Scout and Frodo’s home, literally renovated to be more accommodating to large groups of hikers, is truly heaven. Food, supplies, resources, space, and creature comfort. They are impossibly generous; it’s hard to believe and you just can’t imagine. It has been an extremely happy and fun evening, eating and talking with everyone.
It’s very funny to compare gear, and even more funny to compare expectations. The zero mile hiker boxes, where hikers have deposited things they realize they cannot carry with them, are hilarious fun to dig through. I was able to harvest a length of toilet paper but everything else –though I would have gladly taken it home with me — I was happy to leave behind while hiking. I can’t wait to run (walk) into these people again in a month to compare how we’ve hardened. I like some of them so much already I wish I could hike with them a long way. But I have the feeling it won’t work that way.
Anyway, the flight to San Diego from Portland just happens to parallel the trail for quite a way. I saw Crater Lake, still caked with snow, Mt. Shasta, and the Sierras. It took three hours and a snack bag of peanuts to get down, but it will take a whole hell of a lot more than that to get back.
This is strange to say, but I know I’ve had a very good day when it culminates with a severe headache. About once or twice a year I’ll have sooooo much fun that I’ll strain my head or brain or something and end up miserable. But happy. I call them my “excitement” headaches. The only cure is to go to bed. So I’m sipping on a Stone Brewery IPA and trying to wind down. My bunk mate wants me to hang back with her another day and start Friday. I could use the rest because I’ve been running hard all week, but I’m feeling the pull of the trail big time. We’ll see what the morning brings. I still have sea legs from staying on a boat for two days; my world is rocking.
Crazy week. And it hasn’t even started yet.