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Begins: May 13, 2008
Date: Sat, Jun 7th, 2008
Entry Visits: 459
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No More Stranger Danger
This next batch of entries also arrived on Thursday, June 26th, and was also postmarked from Bakersfield. I think perhaps he’d meant to send the earlier bundle sooner, but hadn’t had the chance.
Having a little down time at the Saufleys’.
I have already done my re-supply for the next stretch, so all I have left to do is go to LA’s REI to get some cold/snow gear for the Sierras. I’ll probably do so whenever I go to swear in. Right now I am looking at slack-packing (hiking without a pack or without a full pack) tomorrow with an out-bound group. I figure I can knock out another day’s worth of hiking while I wait for the word from the Air Force. Regardless of what I end up doing, I will definitely be losing some time, and that upsets me. The source of my deadline is also the hold-up from meeting that deadline. Frustrating.
I have never been The Very Best at meeting people; my nature leads me to be more quiet and reserved around new people or in unfamiliar places/situations. This trip has repeatedly forced me out of that comfort zone, tho’, and I have discovered that it isn’t actually that uncomfortable outside of it. I end up talking to strangers from sheer necessity- I’ll need hitches or information or even just human interaction.
The other day in Wrightwood I mistook a couple at a restaurant for a couple that had given me a hitch into town. They smiled at me and I assumed it was them, so I approached the table and asked if I could join them. Five minutes into the conversation I realized that these were complete strangers I had never met. I had just strolled up, sat down, and started talking. We talked about half an hour before they left, but there was not the least bit of awkwardness, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Last night I sat and talked with the Saufleys. Mostly I listened (something I find very enjoyable). We talked about how people out here find themselves provided for beyond what they could ever have planned for. Not just that people discover that they need very little in this world to be happy (which is incredibly true) but that something special happens out here. If you need water, you find water. Food? Some angel will show up and offer food. A ride? It is inevitable that you will find a ride. I’m not saying that no one gets hurt or dies out here, but an overwhelming amount of people out here have numerous little “miracle stories” of how their days or maybe their lives have been saved by amazing “coincidences”.
I am finding that even the needs I never knew I had are being provided for out here. Every day I am faced with a challenge, but every day there is a solution. There are no challenges that have no answers- I relearn that every day here.
Well, I’m gonna’ take a nap.
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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