The days are becoming shorter and with the impending fall falling, my hiking days and shortening as well. I love the crisp wet smell of the change of the season. I adore the reddening of leaves, the softness of pine needles underfoot. And I feel exceptionally honored to be walking forward to greet the coming season with open arms, welcoming it to the PCT with each step north.
Today started with warm cuddles before I finally forced myself out of bed and into packing. Although there were three hikers’ things exploded around the room, it only took Boomerang and I thirty minutes to pack. Felix, who couldn’t wait to eat after packing and thus started later, only took fifteen.
We got a ride to the trailhead in the driving rain, steeling ourselves for a chilled hike. Instead we trotted happily along a gently winding trail, all new with fall, in reasonable temperatures and only bursts of drizzle. It was just like Seattle in the winter, perfect weather for coffee shops and hiding deep in wool sweaters.
I lost my wallet for a mile and nervously backtracked, talking to Boomerang on the phone (yay trail service!). I spotted it a mile up the trail, white and wet and waiting for me. Relief flooded my body and the afternoon felt filled with magic. Things are happening, Canada is fast approaching.
The day ended with us passing a seemingly infinite number of weekend hikers, who looked like drowned, miserable rats. We helped them find their way and kept going, happy and mostly warm and about to be dry.
Then we moved down off a ridge toward a river, and the night folded around the trees we sunk into and the light lit up the sweet green moss and bending branches. I fell in love with the woods again and again. I wanted to hold the moment in my heart for eternity.
We reached the river and set up camp at 7.30pm, so early for us. The rain abated to let us set up in peace. Finally dry and warm and tucked in, I cooked up dinner: Rainbow Dash’s jasmine rice, veggies, and peanut sauce. It was the most magical thing I have eaten on trail. It was so warm and filling and real. It was perfect. And it was made with love.
So I am snuggling in deep here, filled up with Dash’s home cooked love and dreaming of tomorrow. What will it be like?