Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 24: Solo Hiker Socializing

Rest day in Seiad Valley! Earwigs were crawling everywhere in the cool morning air. Gross. I may have made a small commotion about those I found on my tent.

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Earwig

Chew and Swallow decided to leave for scheduling reasons, but Sid and Alex and I were joined in the morning by Straw Man, 007 and EJ. Man they were a fun and interesting group. I’m not going to disclose personal information here, but if you meet 007, be aware that you’re probably in the presence of the most badass person you’ll ever meet. She got her trail name because her last name is Bond, but she deserves it for many reasons. Me with the same life would have gotten the trail name ‘Pisses Her Pants’.

The cafe, which shares a building with the store and post office, is open from 7 AM to 2 PM. In a day of solo hiker socializing and little else, I had breakfast there with Sid, 007 and Alex and lunch with EJ. All of the food I tried was delicious but expensive. The cafe has an infamous pancake challenge where you get the pancakes for free if you can eat them within a limited time period, but unfortunately no one was game to try it. 007 asked the waitress about the many ‘No Monument’ signs in Seiad Valley, as did some other customers at a nearby table. We noticed that different language was used for our explanation (‘the government’ is trying to screw us over with a national monument) as opposed to the other customers’ (‘tree-hugging environmentalists’ are trying to screw us over with a national monument). I have been known to enjoy hugging a tree or two. A woman at the RV park, Claire, is writing her thesis on the monument movement and was interviewing locals and thru-hikers. She got on our good side immediately by bringing us freshly picked raspberries.

I briefly discussed gear with Straw Man and Alex. Straw Man and I both distrust rain jackets and had brought cheap plastic ponchos, but Alex claims to have found a lightweight rain jacket that works in heavy and prolonged rain. Is it possible?? Straw Man had made an interesting modification to his Solplex to increase ventilation, and also designed and 3-D printed an insert for making coffee in his camp mug. If you’re looking for either of those things, seek out Straw Man.

A great day with great people. Unfortunately I’m now dismally behind on updating this journal.

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