John Z visits me from Seattle. I met John for the first time last month but I’d heard stories about him before from other thru-hikers. They took note when last year he north-bounded the Continental Divide Trail then south-bounded the Appalachian Trail, mostly alone, and fast.
Hashbrown, a dear friend and Appalachian Trail ridge runner cohort, is here too. She just got back from solo trekking in Nepal for three months and now works in Utah doing wilderness therapy. Come May she’ll hike the Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit in Peru.
For fun we visit the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. It’s only a 15 minute drive from where I live in Bellingham, Washington. Near the road we spot a PNT blaze with the thunderbird; a prominent figure in Northwest Coast Native American legend.
Where we are, the trail descends out of the Chuckanut Mountains and down to Samish Bay. It continues to the town of Anacortes where you take a ferry to the Olympic Peninsula; home of the revered Olympic Mountains and Hoh Rainforest.
We walk a railroad track along the Bay and kick rocks and unearth small crabs. A proper eulogy is given to a dead one, and then we toss him into the gray hell which is the same color as the gray heavens. Sooner or later we all make the little flowers grow.
I tell them about the time I dated a sailor who thought he was a Shaman, and he’d take me out into the Bay on his trimaran in choppy waters, swiggin whiskey, wild eyed, singin, howlin, clenching a rope while my legs dangled over the front.
I think he sailed away to Hawaii and I haven’t seen him since.
I gaze out over the water where there are islands made up of rotting wood, pines, moss and fat seals fucking and fighting on shore. They do not confuse love with sex I think.
And then the rest of the afternoon it rains.
Check out John Z ‘ s thru-hiking videos HERE and follow him on Instagram @cedarskies
Check out Hashbrown ‘ s blog HERE and follow her on Instagram @appalachiantrailgirl