Wednesday, August 23, 2017
The music of last night's 'concert' echoed into hiker camp almost wrong. Even up near the stage this local band sounded alright. Hiker clusters murmured with card games, general trail trash, and what of the band. The singer announced last song and a sigh of relief swept the whole audience. Up stream a firework show bursts in the air enough to cause me to stir up. It finishes after the concert.
Dawn glows pops me out off my mat for sunrise. I spot an osprey with a fish flying along before I change my horizontal orientation. I get a few photos of hiker camp in this light. In my wandering I find Totes, already to go. We hang out until she leaves for the trail, north bound. I ask Totes what her take away is. Her reply is 'how good GOD is at providing for her on the trail.' This is highly unusual, most hikers will say the trail provides as if it is the trail/universe making the provision out of good karma because one is simply hiking a long distance trail. We talk some more, she goes to a non-denominational church in SoCal. She mentions a couple of YWAMers are several days behind. (I check Instagram a day or so later, they are Bamboo and Ungerwear of the Van Clain AT 2014). We exchange numbers and Instagram tags. I need to remember her when I do SoCal in a few years since the trail is in her backyard.
Finding coffee meant finding unlimited bowls of cereal and bagels. One last vendor offered samples in the form of specialty oatmeal. Totes and I find Dory, Boxes [who's getting off trail for Texas, home], Bones and his girlfriend, and a few others I don't know. Hook ups are made to raid food bags of those getting off trail by those staying on so that resupply is good arena good food is not wasted at the hiker box at the Ale House restaurant.
Hiker camp makes quick dispersion after breakfast as hikers head one direction or another. I grab selfies with a wide range of hikers I've traveled with. One of my concerns coming into this journey was not being accepted by community of this year's thru-hikers. I am exceedingly grateful for being welcomed as trail family, be it a one time meeting, on going bump ins, or full on hiking for several days like with the Posey. Miles not smiles make rougher miles. The Proverb (Proverbs 27:17) of "as iron sharpens iron so one man [hiker] sharpens [encourages] another." This holds true for this year.
The festival, over, some hikers wander town. I sit by the Ale House waiting. When I got lunch earlier I reminded myself not to eat like a hiker. In the back room of the restaurant is a hiker room with a scale. For those wondering, I haven't lost any weight. I scan hikers who wander by for missing friends like Tripod who didn't show to the festival. Looking also across the river are cliffs that rise up. How close does the PCT come to these? The answer is probably close enough with a manageable grade to hike. Who's up there now?
I kick around which section for next year, NorCal or Washington. Then how? SoBo, flip-flop, cyber hike? Joking on that last one. I'll dig out the materials in a few weeks for that. Now I know what to expect, 20 mile days with water within the 20, food every 3 to 5 days, more or less.
Chris Tomlin's rendition of Amazing Grace echoes in my ears as does Wonder by Hillsong.
My dear friends from Capital Church SLC now living in Vancouver WA area find me near the post office. Yes, I smell a bit but, so what. As we head out we go by Multnomah Falls. Sarah and I hike to the top while her husband looks for parking. The falls are super crowded as expected with the events of this weekend [solar eclipse]. The falls are a wonderful sight to see after missing them several times of ages past.
I take a long needed shower, scrubbing my feet from dust encrusted appendages to reasonably viewable. I am grateful for their generosity to put me up on such short notice.
Sarah and her husband are wonderful hosts. I'll be here for a day or so before catching the train back to SLC.
I caught the solar eclipse from a park near by and spend time chilling, yes chilled at Peet's Coffee shop writing and catching up on social media. Yo! Ya'll are boring else I'm not on the right social media platform.
I pull out my water bottle. Hum, tastes great where's this water from? Oh yeah from a stream, I haven't washed more than my clothes. I better treasure this flavor of water as it becomes rarer and rarer in my life.
I catch a bus into Portland. There is one place I've had on my radar to revisit if I ever came back to this city, Powell's City of Books bookstore. When I arrive there is a cluster of folks waiting for it to open. I snap arrive selfie when I step on and before I get lost. The nostalgia is gone as its mostly new books and not old as I remember. Still, it's massive. I have no plan. I begin with general travel, drift to Northwest travel and look for PCT materials which is a scant handful.
I turn to ham radio which take me to another room and past several historical typewriters. There are no nameplates with these devices, sadness. I take.phots to look them up later. I don't see what I am looking for so reformulate my plan. I head to Christian Doctrine. Christian literature, less fiction, takes up three isles. I find a book by AW Tozer, one of my favorite authors. I also find a volume on Celtic Christianity. I resist many other works. I find my way down to musical instruction and give up when distracted by cook books. In cook books I don't see any backpacking gourmet works. At this time, it's time to roll out in search of food. On my way, I find several journals which may work (weight wise) for next year's hike and a few postcards.
I find myself at Stumptown Coffee Roasters with a brew in their walking, limited seating place near by. Next up, food, and a walk down by the river front. Crazy to think 20 years ago I was here with the Caribbean Mercy. I wonder how the river front park has changed. I wandered down tho both ends. The far west end isn't a place to hang out at with the homeless. A block in [from the water front], I see the 'mission' near China Town. I push my way back towards Powell's. The park hasn't changed.
Tomorrow's set. I'll meet up with an old shipmate before heading to the train and from there well, home bound. I think I'll begin a new set of blog writing for that.