Much like Idyllwild, Wrightwood was crawling with scores of hikers these past two days. It may be due to the holiday post office closing creating a minor backup but favorites old and new made appearances. FlowerMan and CatWeazle (so named due to his likeness to an eponymous British TV series), Neon, Gulliver, Smeagol ( a woman from France who apparently beat a fish to death behind a rock?!), Uhuh, Socrates, RootinTootin (you guess) and many others were there.
All of which to say is that it has become pretty lame to introduce myself as John from Seattle. “Dude, you gotta get a trail name, John is way too hard to remember” admonished Lego back at McDonalds. Lots of folks have been calling me some form of Jack because of the hat and my sister suggested Newton, he of the apple on the noggin legend. The pinecone that beaned me was the size of a pineapple… So, hopefully, without the need of further hints from above, I accepted the name given me by the trail- AppleJack.
The fact that applejack is a pre-prohibition liquor made by cold distillation of apples (I already have a trailname cocktail devised in my head) and it happens to be the main ingredient in a drink called a Jersey Girl (all roads lead to Springsteen) further seals the deal. I went about town today proclaiming myself to be AppleJack. One note please: Let’s all together forget that Applejack was also a star character on the cartoon hit show My Little Pony.
It seems like the only other thing I did today was eat, anything and everything. I can’t ever remember being able to eat this much and never feel full.
Being in a small town on Memorial Day was a poignant reminder of the sons and daughters who did not come back home. There was a small gathering around midday and I spoke with veterans and family members about their stories. I was touched by the simple humility of their service to our country and cannot imagine the powerless agony of having your child put in harm’s way.
My thoughts were colored too by the happy fact of my daughter Kayla’s 26th birthday today. Kayla, your intellect, kindness, empathy, and willingness to help others make me proud to be your dad. Yours is a bright light shining in this world and I love you. Happy Birthday Kayla Bear!
Besides eating, I spent most of the day off my confused feet. “Wait, no walking today?”. I caught up with friends and family and did the mundane work required by the real world, paying bills etc. I am sure rest does a body good and all but I feel like it’s been forever and I’m ready to get back out there. Onward!