Although it technically stretched over three days, the train and bus trip blurs into one cohesive segment of time. I never actually ‘slept’, I simply lost consciousness for a bit. It was long, it was exhausting, it was boring.
At the very least, Evan and I eventually opened up and started talking to others. And by others I mean just one person, who very much looked like they were headed for the Southern Terminus as well. Their name was East, and within a few minutes of some awkward hellos they offered my starving face a vegan BBQ sandwich. I may have been a little excited and forced a hug on them. My bad. I must remember that not everyone is a hugger and most people are too polite to say no. Ask first, hug later.
Some thirty hours later, as well as too much money spent on train food (I regret this terrible bottle of wine so much), we arrived in San Diego around midnight and were whisked away by an amazing trail angel named Betty. She gave us a bed, a shower, vegan pancakes and sausage, and a ride to our hosts house in the morning.
Over the course of our trip, Evan’s nausea had evolved into a dizziness, the chills, and a high fever. Well shit. It didn’t improve by the time we woke up at Betty’s gorgeous house (we listened to the waves of the Pacific all night).
We were driven to our second and main host: Scout and Frodo’s. These two are the trail angels to end all trail angels, and I don’t know how I can ever repay their kindness. We arrived and instead of setting up camp in their backyard in big party tents, we were placed in a bedroom where it was requested Evan stay for the day just in case he was contagious.
While he rested, I toured the neighborhood and got our errands out of the way. I picked up our munchies for the first few days of the trail, mailed half of current food to Warner Springs (so we don’t have to carry it all the way there!), all while allowing myself to enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather. I’ve always said that I sod never move someplace hot like the American Southwest, but… damn. It is so lovely here. It’s perfect.
That evening we were swept off to Adventure 16, a gear shop hosting the premier showing of the Class of 2016 PCT video. Let me say, I was honestly just expecting a few people hanging out and a video on a projector. I did not expect packed room with probably a hundred outdoor enthusiasts, as well as several members of the PCTA board. It was an inspiring evening, and while I knew there were tons of people who loved the trail, I’ve never seen them all in one place. This was a proper send off for this year’s class of hikers; filled with love, passion, and respect.
But tomorrow is our big day! Or at least I thought it was.
Evan’s condition had not improved as much as we would have liked, so Frodo generously allowed us a second day in her home.
Nerves and anxiety are terrifying things, and they can take control of your mind and your body. Take care of yourselves, folks.
I spent the following day mingling and trying to get out of my comfort zone. I’m trying to me friends, dammit!!
Anyways, long story short, we start tomorrow! No matter what, we’re putting our feet on that trail. I’m still not nervous, and I still don’t understand why. Am I repressing it to better support others? Did I get it out of the way a while back? Have I been ingrained with the ‘Fake it until you Make it’ mentality?
Who knows. I guess I’ll find out soon enough when I’m really smacked in the face with my new reality.
P. S: I’m currently locked out of my Patreon account and I’m trying to get back in. So if you’re a patron, I am SO SORRY that I’m not posting! I’ll get this fixed!
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Some more photos: