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Cruise control

September 27th, 2007

I’m becoming more and more removed from the hiking world of the last five months. From Seattle I drove to Ashland. Almost eight hours on one road gave me time to think about things but I didn’t really use it. I was busy surfing the airwaves trying to find a station that actually played music. One end of the dial is all religion all the time, and the other end is dominated by country & western. When I did find something I could put up with I couldn’t help but find some way in which the songs were picked out right for me. “Move Along”, “We are the Champions” and “Highway to Hell” are the ones that stuck in m mind. I found it a lot easier to sing along while driving than while walking uphill so I took the oppourtunity and ignored all the strange looks from passing cars. After an overnight stop in Ashland to visit Claudia and Vic I continued down to Redding to my great Aunt Agnes’ place. The PCT crosses I5 twice and I took a break at Castella to check on the PCT register and try to place myself back in the mood I was in when I reached there on foot two months ago. That was the worst part of the trail for me. The days before were hot, stuffy and exhausting. At that point I was closer to quitting than any other time, and it was there I received the memory card with videos from home and knowing everyone was willing me on gave me the kick in the junk that I needed. So thank you to all that contributed to that, and to all those that are congratulating me. I feel it’s possibly more real to you lot at the moment. I see my time in Southern California as a whole different trip and can only think about the last week in Washington as recent. When I’ve put some time between me and the hike I’ll probably merge it all into one event

PCT

A truck on a truck on a truck on a truck

I met up with Blue Sky, now known by her civilian name of Caitlin, in Davis where she is waiting for college to start. I tagged along to a college party where the plan was, after multiple rounds of Beer Pong, get to the doughnut shop when it opened at 5:30am. None of our little troupe made it but a good time was had by all and I saw a very different side of American culture. We even took a drive by of “Frat Row” and saw all the houses with their greek letters on display. What a change in my life, last week shivering in my tent alone and tired. A week later Nicole is driving me, Caitlin, Kristen and Rebecca at about 85 mph down the highway.

PCT

Ladder ball

PCT

Drinking in Davis

Davis was a blast but I had to leave. I’ve driven in this area before but after following the crest for so long it’s quite a mental shift to be in a valley so wide you can’t see the edges. I spent the afternoon wandering the streets of downtown San Francisco and smiling to myself about the looks I was getting. After I’d returned my rental car I asked the guy (I’ll call him Juan for now) directions to the piers. He said which road to take and asked if I needed a ride organized.
“No, I’ll just walk”
“Really? It’s a long way”
“I can handle it”

As I walked away I heard him tell the next person in line “That guy’s going to walk all the way downtown!” haha.

I got a similar reaction in a book store. After giving me directions to another one he said, with a bit of a sarcastic attitude “enjoy your walk”.

PCT

San Francisco from below

One minor disaster, I lost my PocketMail device. I left it in a phone booth near Pier 40.

I think this is enough for now. I have some socialising to do. My flights are booked, I’ll be back home on Oct 4th and I’m really looking forward to it.

Distance today: 0 miles. Total distance: 2663.5 miles

5 Responses to “Cruise control”

  1. Greg Rose Says:

    Holly cow! That is so great. Congratz on making it the whole way. This blog has kept me entertained and enlightened for the last 5 months. It has been really fun following your adventures! It was very interesting to me that even though you had no responsibilities or job to go to for five months, that you were still always worried about the time and making it to Canada by Fall. I also love the Google Earth file. That is really great.

    Congratz again!

  2. Denis Says:

    Hi Greg. as back office sub-editor for this journal it’s great to hear from someone who has been following the Google Earth file too. I have wondered if I was the only person who looked at it.

  3. Sam Says:

    Ill be happy to kick you in the junk any time you feel down.

    All you have to do is ask!

  4. Rachael Says:

    Craig – like so many of the others on here who are congratulating you I am so proud of you. I haven’t commented before now because I just haven’t known how to put it into words (and still don’t). How am I going to start my work day now that I don’t have your hike to follow vicariously along with? Looking forward to seeing you soon!

    Denis – I’m a Google Earth follower as well, it’s been such a great addition, really put the scale of it into perspective for me. Thanks again for your massive effort maintaining this site for all us armchair hikers, it must have taken up a large chunk of your ’spare’ time :-)

  5. George Spearing Says:

    Congrat’s Craig!
    Finally finished “pickin’ ‘em up and puttin’ ‘em down” I see!
    I can imagine you’re into the slightly flat feeling of post hike. I found it a strange feeling – didn’t really even feel like talking about it too much to some folk. But maybe that’s just me.
    One thing for sure, you’ll have a load of good memories etched in there that’ll randomly spring unbidded into your head for years to come!
    Good on you mate! :^)
    George.