Home Not Alone

Day 3: Fred canyon, mile 32

If you’d like to get a sense of where I am, I’m on this map made by Canon (Annika), one of my hiking companions.
We made it 1% of the way on Day 3, just beyond the first waypoint. Shade and relaxation with friends at the water faucet made for excellent celebrations.

Pacific Crest Trail 2018

Back to the frequently asked questions …
Question: Am I doing this? All by my lonesome? No one else?
Answer: Yup. Nope.

Immediately I met all kinds of people on the trail from all walks of life. They became family right away and walking along with them, I don’t feel alone at all. There’s a pretty instant comraderie in that we have in common the walk, the hardships, the beauty, the blisters, the sore muscles, the setting up the tent or a broken stove or whatever it might be. And yet what we most have in common is this strange desire to walk thousands of miles just for the point of walking.

Automatic small talk includes “where did your trail name come from?” or “what kind of gear are you using?” or “are you planning on doing the whole thing?” or “how stunning was that ridgewalk, right?!” So this little community becomes instantly tight. When you walk into a place where you see another hiker, you just smile and say hello and know that you could potentially be the best of friends if you go to same pace, if you stop at the same places, or if you find each other funny. Everyone seems to be funny.

Here’s one: I said to my friend Orange, “OK, so tell me a story about anything in your life”. He said “I don’t have any stories.” I said “come on, you’re a lawyer, you must have some stories , you know, be John Grisham.” So he pulls this one out:

One day he gets a call in the office from a man looking for one of his colleagues who is out that day. The secretary said “sorry, he isn’t in the office right now, but I can leave a message if you like.” The man on the phone says “no! you better put him on the line, or I’m gonna come in there and put a bomb in your office!” So the secretary goes and gets Orange, who owns the firm, and says “what do I do about this?” Orange tries to talk him down, but the man insists he’s going to put a bomb in the office unless they get the other colleague to respond to him. So they eventually gently hang up the phone and they look at each other “what do we do???”

They call the police. The police say “close the office right now. Send people home. We will be right there.” The police came over and did a full on serious crack down on the office. They found the caller’s identity, went to his home, and arrested him. A couple of hours later, Orange’s office phone rings again and it’s this same man. He says, “I got one call. I’ve been arrested for placing a bomb threat on your office and I need a lawyer.”


But on and on into the night (you know, til about 8) no matter which group of people I’m with, the laughs just don’t stop. This is perhaps my favorite part of the trip so far: every time I stop to rest with a group of people I find myself hysterically laughing.

In the constancy of good humor and good mood and good attitude, I am absolutely not alone.


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