Day 2: A Diversity of Folk

Memories from April 22

Woke up at 4:00am and was out by 4:30am. Almost immediately lost the trail where it crossed a road. Eventually I turned on my headlamp and the reflective PCT sign lit up across the way. If only I’d done that before walking a quarter mile down the road. It’s nice walking to just the light of a brilliant moon though. Everything strikes you differently.

Filtered water for the first time on the trip and met a guy named Cort while doing so. He’s wanted to hike the PCT for 7 years and I for 5 so we got along well maligning the Wild effect.

Less than a mile from the Mount Laguna turn off, I snacked with Tracy and Charlie who are empty nesters from Oklahoma. Very pleasant. They’re doing about 10 miles a day until they’re back in shape. Tracy had a whippet with the tag still on it because it had come too late to ship. Charlie and I eventually got to talking politics. It turns out that we both want Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs for president. Between that and a conversation with KBar about religion yesterday I’ve successfully broken the two great conversational taboos.

At the Mount Laguna Lodge I got my resupply box and wound up meeting Mario, half of a French duo who had saved up for a winter working at a resort to hike the PCT after seeing Wild. I hiked with him, his friend Pierre, and Kaya who is most recently from Germany but has lived all over the world and works on philosophical documentaries.

Mario set a blistering pace. We reached a very windy overlook of what I think is the Mojave. It was our first sweeping overlook in a journey which I undertook ton see glorious landscapes.

At the Mount Laguna Campground that night I met a bunch of other internationals: three  Swiss siblings (Mario, Christine, and Regina) who I kept thinking were from Germany, Tosten who actually was from Germany and English Pete who is a freelance writer and despite his accent now an American.

I’d been hoping to hike with some of them the next day but the two Frenchmen hadn’t packed enough food to get to Warner Springs so they were going to hitch back to Mount Laguna. Regina or Christine had blisters to they were only going 12 miles to the Sunrise Spring trailhead. Kaya seemed undecided. I left my contact info with Mario and hope to see them again.

I was offered the trailname “fresh” today for reasons that are a little unclear but have something to do with my dehydrated food and low key attitude. It didn’t feel like a great fit because it’s an adjective and is hard to explain.

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