I have just had the best ab workout after Goku, a Japanese hiker who speaks limited English, has tried to convince me to stay in Seiad Valley until at least 10am tomorrow. I’m not even sure why he’s so adamant about me staying for breakfast as I only met him a couple of hours ago, but in a series of charade type motions he was able to communicate that if I try to leave at 5am as planned, he will hold onto my ankle so I can’t move. I was honestly in stitches because this went on for over half an hour following another explanation of what Muk Muk means in Japanese (from his arm movements I understood it’s something to do with smoke rising, or it could be a snowman; I’m honestly going to have to look it up). Both Goku, Messenger and I were all hysterically giggling by the end of the demonstration.
This was one of many belly laugh occasions today. This morning Mud and Dingo arrived while I was having breakfast at the cafe and after 4 hours and about 10 cups of coffee the conversations were becoming more and more ludicrous. I also met another Aussie from Perth today and a hiker called Lightning Rod, and we all sat around in the shade at the RV park mostly making fun of me and the fact that for some reason everyone seems to have heard of Muk Muk somewhere along the trail. Whether it’s because I’ve been out here for soooo long already and have gone from the front, to the middle, to maybe further back in the pack, or maybe it’s just the mountain lion incident. The south bounder I met yesterday told me about a girl who was recently stalked by one, and I laughed and replied ‘I guess that would be me’.
The RV park has some interesting rules about exactly where and when you can have your tent set up in the front yard. It was so dark last night and the ground was so hard I pitched in between a tree, picnic bench and a sprinkler. When I was told off in the morning after having my tent standing after 9am, I also discovered I’d been sleeping next to a dead bird. Welcome to Seiad Valley! But in all seriousness this was the perfect place for a zero. Between the cafe, post office, store and RV park which are all within a stones throw apart, there’s really nothing else to do and nowhere else to go. I did see my fellow Aussie attempt the 5 pound pancake challenge, but he only got through 1.5. I got to pocket one of the leftovers and chewed on it for most of the day with enough for a small breakfast tomorrow!
Because I don’t get any AT&T signal here, my brother in law had to phone the cafe to be able to tell me that I’m now an aunt for the second time to their brand new baby girl! The two women at the cafe were as excited as I was at the news and wanted to see pictures immediately once I was off the phone. I basically ate three rounds of food in 4 hours; pancakes with eggs and bacon, hash brown with gravy, then I polished off Dingo’s leftover waffle with berries. Surprisingly I still had room to nibble on the leftover pound pancake after that.
I froze water in ziplock bags to use as ice packs for my shin and hip and spent most of the day sitting or lying down. I did yet another pack shakedown and managed to cut 1 pound and 3 ounces off my base weight. Plus I got rid of a stack of extra food I was carrying so my pack will be lighter up the monster climb tomorrow morning. It’s after 10pm and I’m expecting Fuller to show up anytime now after some time at home back in Oregon. He’s kindly picked me up a new pair of shoes after I realised the new pair of Cascadias I’ve been wearing were too small because my previous pair were in fact a men’s 9.5, not a women’s 9.5 like my current pair. Honestly, will I ever get this right?