It’s about 8am Friday morning. Lora and I quickly packed up our meager belongings in our hotel room and slowly make our way to the front desk for check out. Behind us was the complimentary breakfast offerings which to our amusement, had an automatic oatmeal dispenser and a large warning sign “DON’T MICROWAVE THE BOILED EGGS!”
We walked outside and immediately hear “hey! Pct! Are you hikers!?” to our surprise, two German lads greeted us and we quickly began sharing stories. These two guys hadn’t backpacked much, but were eager to do something crazy and were up for the challenge of a thru hike.
Soon enough, our ride to Scout and Frodo arrives. The family* van, with a yellow pompom attached to the window pulls into the driveway and without any applause, out jumped Scout who was energetic and cheerful. His smile beneneath his white moustache was welcoming and we immediately felt at ease with the transition ahead.
There were two French Canadian hikers, us and the two Germans that rounded out the payload. We introduced ourselves and shared small talk. We rounded the last corner and saw a welcoming sight. A big house with the PCT banner overhead, the stories were true! The house exuded a sense of adventure and awe, the adventure was beginning.
We were taken out backyard, which had two white tents, a yellow tent and even a tree house on the left and a large ring of lawn chairs on the far side. Inside, the house was immaculate. Nothing was out of place spare the couple hikers going through their first backpack shakedown with Who’s Your Daddy.
We were given a short tour of the house and were left to explore ourselves. We greeted fellow hikers and hosts, hearing stories of their past adventures. People shared their fears and strengths in the outdoors. This was our introduction to trail life. The calm before the storm. There was a sense of anticipation for all as some hikers prepared to leave the following morning and others watched and learned.
By nighttime, dinner was served. Chili with pasta and salad. Scout and Frodo discussed many topics, stories and fair warnings of the dangers ahead. By 9pm most were getting ready for bed. Lora and I retreated to our room, knowing the next day it was our turn to get ready, it was our turn to start this 4,240km journey home.