Last week, during the Rainbow Gathering in Oregon, I lived in close quarters with roughly 20,000 of my closest hippie friends. Starting my journey along the Pacific Crest Trail a week later I have hardly met a dozen people so far. Apart from the slightly shell shocking effect that kind of contrast has wrought on my psyche i could not have asked for a better first week on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Hitchhiking nearly 500 miles north from mid-eastern Oregon to my starting point on this trail, Stevens Pass, followed the usual formula. I start in a state of nervousness, unsure of what this process may have in store. After a few rides I warm up and start enjoying my company. At some point it takes an exorbitant amount of time for me to get picked up. As I wait desperately on the side of some decrepit and nearly out of use highway. By the time I get picked up I am so grateful, I overwhelm the poor soul who was kind enough to pick me up, with non-stop praise and adulation. Two days later when I finally arrive at my destination I promise myself I will take a train next time.
By the time I got to the trail just outside of the odd and highly commercialized town of Leavenworth it is almost 6pm. Too excited to camp at the trailhead I proceed to hike in three miles before calling it a night. I have been planning this trip for almost a year, it has been a dream for much longer. The excitement of finally being here is slightly overwhelming, along with the fact that I am still recovering from the mass conglomeration of hippies and generally ‘different’ people known fondly as the Rainbow Gathering of Living Light Family.
Getting an early start the next morning I hiked until the afternoon where I settled at Mig lake for an extended lunch, painting session, and frigid dip. Submerging myself has been a ritual I have maintained everyday. Don’t get me wrong I want to be dirty but the angelic coos of the beckoning water are too sweet to resist. Eventually I arrived at my campsite at Talus Lake after my first full day on the trail.
During my second day I met the most badass hiker in recent memory. ‘Nameless’ arrived at Kennedy Meadows on April 11th and had been battling his way north ever since, it seemed like he was winning. Aside from a nice painting and a real life shitter the rest of the day passed as usual.
Perhaps my most social day on the trail, Friday, I hiked with a new trail buddy for a bunch of miles. It is amazing how fast the time and distance passes when you are talking to someone other then yourself. By the time I got to Specticale Lake it was already populated with a smathering of tents, not to fear I found my quite corner along this stunning body of water. The next day full of relaxation and sleep was a shabbot living up to its title of a ‘day of rest’.
As a part of the Granite Gear Grounds Keepers program I am picking up as much litter as I can along my trek. This week I picked up 2.4 pounds, most of which were once white shoes that looked like they had been there for at least a year. Please guys, as tempting as it may be to backpack barefoot keep your shoes with you.
Right now I am writing from the town of Snoqualmie. Once I run out of things to do in this ridiculously small town I will start on my next leg of the trip, 98 miles to Whites Pass, see you there!