Pacific Crest Trail (2019) Pre-Hike 4: To Los Angeles

Monday, March 11, 2019

A terrifying plane ride to Calgary kicked off a to-be eventful trip to Los Angeles. The wind was so strong near the ground that the pilot had to abort the first attempt at landing, and the second attempt was a scary success after which people clapped and a guy called ‘good job’. Just like a plane crash, my tears were barely averted. I proceeded to pre-screening in Calgary, where the customs agent was suspicious because of last year’s long hiking trip and sent me to a huge, white, mostly empty room for secondary questioning. The agent questioning me was nice, but I was scared because I didn’t know his exact concern or on what grounds he would deny me entry to the U.S. I just want to spend my tourist dollars there! He asked me about my accommodation and when I said that I would be camping, asked me whether I was carrying a tent and to confirm that the luggage pictured on a screen was mine. Eventually I was allowed to leave, but I was still worried because I kept imagining TSA agents riffling through my backpack, flinging everything into disorder and with blissful ignorance examining that Pandora’s Box of a tent. NOOOO you’ll never get it back into its stuff sack! There is no hope inside!!!

Finally I boarded the plane to LA. My seatmate asked about my trip and insisted on buying me a sandwich. The flight was too short for sandwiches to be served, so in the end she gave me $20 instead and told me to buy a sandwich/ice cream on the trail. Advance trail angel! Honestly, I think that she thought I was poor because my carry on luggage was a plastic bag and my shirt has some holes in it from last year. Is that why the customs agent was suspicious…

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Ultimately I saw no signs of the TSA checking my bag. I’m now in the hostel and one of my roommates is playing odd trance-like music to help herself sleep. Girl… have you noticed that you have roommates…

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