Last night was my last in Portland for a while. I picked up my last paycheck and said some tearful goodbyes to friends I’m used to seeing on a daily basis. Though it isn’t really goodbye, emotions got the best of me, especially when walking out of the bowling alley for the last time ever. I shed my first real tears in a long time, but that felt kind of good.

I had a dream that I got to the trailhead and forgot water. Every time I went to go fill it up something would get in my way, and I never got to hiking. Typical dreams before a big journey…I wonder what I will dream tonight (if I can even sleep).

When I got to San Diego, I took a bus to Old Town and had quite the encounter with a local as I was waiting to cross the street:

Her: Could you move?
Me: why?
Her: you need to move now.
Me: I’m just waiting to cross the street, I will move when the light changes.
Her: What did you say?
Me: uh…
Her: I heard you mumbling something about my skin melting off because I’m black. You white girls gotta watch your mouths.
Me: ???

I decided that I wasn’t going to cross there, and walked the opposite direction of crazy. To my delight, this landed me at a cute Mexican restaurant where I had chilaquiles for breakfast on a lovely patio in the sun.

Frodo (the trail angel who is hosting a few of us hikers tonight) picked me up from the restaurant and I met Guinness and Extra Stout who will also start tomorrow. They are a nice couple from North Carolina. Guinness hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2011 and Extra Stout is his lady friend doing her first long hike.

Scout and Frodo have a great set-up for hikers. I am very impressed and comforted by their amazing hospitality. I’ve heard about trail angels, but this is my first experience with them. They go above and beyond my expectations, and I’m so grateful for this welcome to my new life.

They have a scale set up for weighing packs that hangs from the door frame. So far, I’ve only weighed my food (I’m a little scared by the reality that my pack is a tad overweight, so I’m delaying its weigh-in). My food bag weighs 6.5 lbs, and I have no idea if that is too much or not enough. I’m terrified of not having enough food (though I’m willing to guess 6.5 lbs is more than enough). It is all part of the learning curve, so I will find out soon enough and make the proper adjustments.

Soon, we will prepare dinner and enjoy our last night in beds for a while. I’m happy to finally get moving in the morning, I’m more antsy than ever!

Next post will actually be from the trail! Yay!