One Hundred Seven – Eight: SEATTLE

Seattle is all of the good things I’ve heard.

Their coffee is on point. I’d even go as far as saying it’s the best I’ve had since leaving my land of snobby coffee joints and proud baristas.

Their seafood rivals Australia’s. Again, it might be a stretch, but honestly: I’ve never really enjoyed raw oysters. Until now.

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Their Korean food rivals Korea’s. (Okay. I admit, I don’t actually know this for a fact… But it’s damn good!).

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Their ice-cream stores have lines out the doors – and for good reason. This one has an unlimited samples policy. Seriously. The chick who served us even admitted if we just wanted to try them alllllll and then walk out, we wouldn’t have to pay anything. Which seems like a good loophole, but their service is so good we ended up tipping a whole bunch extra instead. So, really, the loophole works in their favour I guess!

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Seattle is putting on the goods! Having HBG play at town life has been a blast. Having 2Beers join us as well has been the best. She got off trail way back in the Sierra around the time we became River Bandits, and decided to join back up with HBG for our southbound flip flop.

Not quite sure she’s used to all of our shenanigans anymore, but it won’t take her too long to get back into the swing of things. I hope (for her sake!).

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The friendly (drunk) fella in the middle here was in a big rant about the atrocity of my socks and sandals get up. Mr Homeless man (also very friendly!) came and defended my choices, thinking it brave. I love city people!

And while we’ve had a lot of fun traipsing around the big city, we did have to get a little serious and do some logistics: boxes. Resupply. Shopping for the months ahead. Mailing ourselves food for all of Washington and Oregon, and what’s left of California.

You thought weekly groceries was a headache?

Try organising that for one thousand miles worth of trail.

For six of us.

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Yep.

Headaches indeed.

I’m glad we had so much fun with all of the oysters and coffees and Asian food already, because this just about sent us into a mental breakdown.

How much food do we need? How quickly will we hike the miles? Will we get sick of the same food? Where will we send the boxes? How many boxes should we organise? OhmygoodnessIhavebeenhikingforoverthreemonthsstraightandIstillcan’twrapmyheadaroundthisatall.

We ended up going to not one, not two, not three, but FOUR different grocery stores to try and sort out all our supplies. All in one day. I hate shopping on a good day, let alone trying to wrap my head around how many tortillas I’ll need, and wondering if they’ll get mouldy in the boxes.

We also ended up still divvying couscous and sundried tomatoes and chocolate chips into ziplock bags at 2AM. Perks of being back in a city include being able to duck out for late night burgers and fries, and having places open 24hrs a day.

I don’t think I’m the only one who is torn between missing trail and slightly getting used to civility again.

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We were only able to squeeze in a couple hours of sleep (literally).

There were a lot of logistics balls we had to juggle in a very short Saturday morning:

  • Checking out of the airbnb
  • Returning the hire car on time
  • Mailing all our resupply boxes before the post office closed
  • Heading to REI for another pair of shoes for each of us
  • Eating
  • Being picked up by a trail angel who was driving us the whole way to trailhead – which is four hours away: EACH WAY!

I got stressed. And hangry. We were all a little stressed. And hangry.

And sad.

OH MY GOSH I FORGOT TO TELL YOU!

We got some news at Trail Days. It wasn’t good news. All these fires that we escaped back down in California? Well, they’re still there. But there are more fires. Here. On the Canadian border.

Which has now been closed.

“What exactly does that mean?”, I hear you ask.

It means that the border is out of bounds. We can’t get there. The trail to the PCT northern terminus has been closed. There is too much smoke, the fire is so uncontained, bla bla bla, and according to the authorities it’s too unsafe for people to hike through.

Sooooo that happened.

And now, with a very quick decision on a very late night by some very frazzled hikers in a big busy city, we made a hard call: HBG is to split.

Pickleback and Jimminy Cricket have decided to hike an alternate route. They’re going to head to the Canadian border on a trail east of the official Pacific Crest Trail, and touch the border over there. Prodigal, Nemo, 2Beers and I will get as close as we can, and just start hiking south from Highway 20.

Hopefully, maybe, by the time we finish up the missed miles in between here and Donner Pass, the northern terminus will be open again and we can adventure alllllll the way back up there to finish those last 60 miles and get our finish photo!

And if it doesn’t work out, I’m just holding on to the belief that it’ll be for a good reason, and something else will unfold instead.

So, with boxes now posted to wait for us further down the trail, I shall say goodbye to my friends and cling on to the hope that they’ll catch up again soon.

Frazzled is a good word. There’s been a lot of change – as well as some serious culture shock – and with goodbyes on top of all these emotions, my heart is in overdrive.

It’s a good time to start walking again.

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These were only the boxes for three of us! Safe to say we weren’t the favourite customers at the post office today.

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