Campo to Cibbets Flats
Mile 0 – Mile 32.6
Bright eyed and clean shaven
Unfortunately, the hard won hiker physique I gained last year has vanished. My hoof-like feet have softened again and I am sporting an extra 30 pounds since leaving the trail last year. I knew the first few weeks on the PCT test (or retest) everyone’s mettle. I’m happy to report that at least so far, last year’s learning has helped ease my transition back into trail life. One size bigger and wide shoes, sun gloves, camp shoes, blister diligence… experience makes a difference.
Virginia vagabonds chillin at Scout and Frodo’s
Arriving at Scout and Frodo’s was deja vu all over again. A top notch operation if ever there was, the only difference this year was a much larger cast of characters from all over the world. To name a few there was British Elliot a colorist for Disney Animation, Kiwi Deebrah (phonetic spelling) just off the Te Araroa a 3000km long trail in New Zealand, a host of Germans, a vagabond couple from Virginia who have been out adventuring since early 2016, two kids from Colorado fresh out of high school, a young couple from Bellingham just out of college who reminded me of my own Connor and Lindsay, and a retired police detective from Bainbridge Island with the trail name Hoosier Daddy.
This season’s cast of characters
Hoosier Daddy comes to trail after many years teaching snow skills, doing pack shakedowns, supporting trail angels, and otherwise being a cool dude in the PCT community. Finally in 2018, it’s his turn to walk the trail and I had the honor of sharing his first few miles. In addition to ‘walking off the blue’ as he describes his hike, HD also carries the ashes of trail angel royalty. Andrea Dinsmore passed away late last year and HD intends to carry her home to Skykomish, WA where for many years she and her husband Jerry have famously supported PCT hikers.
I never got the chance to meet Andrea Dinsmore but I do carry my mother’s memory with me. Mom, “O (Trail) Angel of God!” passed away too soon this past December. My sister Joanne had small hearts sewn from one of Mom’s flannel shirts and filled them with dried rose petals. Though the memento may be worse for the wear, Momma is coming with me this year.
Momma is with me
My plan was to make it to Mt Laguna today but freezing temperatures and 50+mph winds at the top encouraged me to stop short and hunker down. It was actually quite pleasant to nap the day away snug inside my tent and let the weather blow itself out tonight. Taking a more leisurely approach to hiking (and blogging) seems promising.