Day 89 - Dunsmuir - July 3

The hike into Dunsmuir was uneventful.  It was a lot of downhill through forest, some overgrown.  I didn't see another hiker the whole time.  I got to the road, the PCT follows it for a while before crossing at the interstate so I kept walking along the road.  As I reached the interstate, a car pulled up, I waved and he stopped, asking if I needed a ride.  He has just given a few hikers a ride from Dunsmuir to here and now he was going back.

He dropped me in the center of the small town.  It was cute, reminded me of small towns in the mountains of North Carolina.  I had breakfast at the Cornerstone Cafe, an amazing array of vegetables piled on hash brown potatoes.  There was even avocado!  I joined another hiker, a girl with short hair that had passed me last night.  She was planning on getting out of town that day.  After breakfast, I went to the post office to pick up the box I had bounced with my Whippet.  I was going to add a couple of small items, but when I had the box, I thought it wasn't worth paying again just to lose those few ounces.  So, I brought the box back to the desk and bounced it ahead again to Etna.

Leaving the building, I saw Rambles across the street, crossed and said hello to him.  Him and Boots had gotten to town the night before.  The resupply was tricky there, it was a very small store.  It might have been better for a vegan to have a box sent here or go into Mt Shasta.

I joined Tooth Fairy, Boots and Rambles in the park nearby.  A patch of grass with small shad trees and a playground.  Rambles bought a 12 pack of beer and shared it with Boots.  I had one.  We sat there for a while talking idly.  I sorted and repackaged my resupply.  A family joined us under the next tree, but we must have scared them off with our conversation.  It's perfectly normal for us to talk about bowel movements.  It's a pretty important part of life.  I imagined as they shepherded their young children away, they might have told them to study hard or they'd end up laying around under a tree talking about poop when they grow up.  Sounds like the good life, doesn't it?  The girl who joined me for breakfast joined us and Tooth Fairy left.

We went to Pizza Factory for dinner/lunch.  I had the salad bar, piling my bowl up.  I wanted vegetables!  I had a beer, too.  We also charged our devices.  Tooth Fairy came by and joined us again.  Rambles and Boots had camped in a trail angel's yard last night and planned on going again.  I joined them.  Grill Master lives in a cute one bedroom house in town with his girlfriend and their five day old baby.  I was amazed they were open to letting hikers stay there while they were learning to be parents.  He had hiked a large part of the trail last year.  They let me do my laundry and take a shower in their bathroom.  They told us to just go ahead and  use the bathroom whenever we  needed it.  Mostly we sat in the front yard chatting.  As we were hanging out, a thin woman came over with a bottle full of dark liquid and a candle.  She moved her arms and legs as if this was an offering to a long lost god.  She set the items down on the threshold of the sidewalk leading to the house.  We didn't say anything, just watched her and snuck questioning glances at each other.  What was this?  Trail magic?  She walked away, then came back with what looked like a basket overflowing with random pieces of cloth.  She sat down next to the bottle and began to arrange the cloth, pulling each piece out and folding it or arranging it. She laid down a small poster of Mary and Jesus, laying below it a bundle of sage wrapped in cloth.  She moved the bottle next to the basket.  Rambles asked me "Do you think she can talk?".  I shrugged.  She replied that she could talk.  She said that she was a neighbor and she was overjoyed with the new life in the house.  The dark liquid was a  tea she brewed fresh herself, for the new mother.  I had the odd thought that the three of us were the three thru-hiking wisemen, waiting outside the door.  I can't believe I hiked this far and didn't bring any myrr.

Boots slept in a hammock set up in the front yard.  Rambles cowboy camped with the down pillow.  I set up my tent on the lawn.  The neighbors down the street were setting off firecrackers when the sun set, drawing in a hoard of neighborhood children.  This is a great place to grow up.


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