Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 11th Gay Pride Eugene

Today is a day of celebration for Gay folks in Eugene. The party was at a local park, Alton-Baker and was attended by at least a few hundred people. There were the usual booths for political issues, social groups, crafts and food plus entertainment in the form of guys in drag lip singing to show tunes.

The dogs were into it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10th Getting Road Ready

I've been frequenting Fred Myers in the last couple of days in an attempt to pack my truck for the next month of camping. There's a leak between my truck and the cab so when it rains I get a wet floor in the back. I now have enough plastic containers to store my stuff so's nothing will get wet. Now all I need is to hit the road going north.

We went to the Cornbread Cafe tonight for dinner. Vegan, BBQ seitan, supposedly mimicking pulled pork. Eh, I don't think so. The spinach, mashed potatoes and cornbread were good though...

Pictures are of truck, G and J at the cafe.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 9th Thriftstoremaina

As much as I love my home town of Santa Cruz, we have NO good thrift stores in town. It is a real sadness to me because if one loves to search for treasures like I do, having a good source of spots is the most fun one can have in shopping experiences.

Well, Eugene Oregon is a wealth of potential treasures and yesterday we managed to hit a quarter of the stores. St. Vinnie's has the most stores but there are all the other types. As well as off brand non-profit stores... like Sara's Treasures, the cat rescue/thrift store combo of yesterday afternoon. I didn't get any items from that store but I sure did get get some fine cat love.

All told I got a couple of shirts, one for dress up (should I ever do that again), and a new addition to my salt and pepper collection. Plus other items that may become presents...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 8th Eugene, Oregon

Sorry about forgetting to use the Spot over these last couple of days. When I stop living out of my pack I stop thinking of the locater. My bad.

I got to Eugene on Monday evening after driving about the countryside picking up boxes of food previously sent to various near-trail spots. I love being here, near my old friends with whom I used to hang with back in the Long Beach days. They moved to Oregon nearly 30 years ago and I still haven't gotten over them leaving. I continue to whine about it but they tolerate me.

Yesterday we drove out to a lake which is near Sweet Home, Oregon. G is there, volunteering this week at a Girl Scout Camporee, teaching the girls how to make greenhouses from recycled materials. She is always in her element, making stuff.

Today we are getting a late start, having watched the Olympics till midnight. The plan is to spend the day thrift storing at all of J's favorite spots. I hope to find treasures.

The only image here is of the sunset while driving back to Eugene last night.

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6th The Sequel

I had fun today. I drove all over Hell'nback, Oregon to pick up the re-supply boxes A had sent out to me. First Crater Lake general store then north to Shelter Cove Resort, where I noticed they are selling the resort. Anyone out there want a project? A big one?

On my final approach to Eugene I managed to stop at one thrift store but didn't find even one treasure. I'll have to try harder next time. When I got to J's house we chatted a bit then went over to A and T's place for chicken tacos on the back porch. YUM! Like good friends do they asked me thoughtful questions about my hike and expressed concern about my leaving the trail and how it would feel to me. They don't want me to feel bad and it would not be constructive so I'm gonna work on that.

A took us over to the community garden spot she has to show us her green thumb. She has quite the talent with plants that gal. Too bad there isn't much money in carrots or she could have made a good living as a farmer. Instead it is her after work decompression spot and a food source for her family. I have great friends.

Images are of Crater Lake, a lady and dog at Shelter Cove (check out the dogs toe nails), A's garden veggies and garden.

August 6th On the Road Again...

Yesterday was a tough day. Finally making the decision to stop hiking was tough but I can thank R and J for listening to me and reminding me that I'm not a failure for quitting the trail. When things stop being fun most of the time, its time to re-evaluate and make adjustments to the big goal in the sky.

Disappointment is a powerful feeling. Aside from my personal feelings it's become clear to me I have been worrying about disappointing others. Folks who donated to the City of Hope, friends and family, folks I never met and who knows who else is out there reading this blog and cheering me on. I really hate to disappoint anyone but my heart isn't into it so the aches and pains and other difficulties of the trail just are too much to deal with.

So my apologies go out to my readers and I hope you have enjoyed this missive, as far as its gone. I will continue to write here throughout the next few weeks as I'm not going home yet, I'll just be driving around and having adventures in that form. My home is occupied till October 1st so I have quite a bit of time to get into some fun trouble. Stay tuned.

I want to thank Ted and Pearl for taking me from Trout Lake Resort all the way to Talent where my truck was resting up in Daniels yard. The kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August 5th No-where-ville

Before I went to bed last night I organized all my gear, setting it where I could quickly stuff it in my pack and set my alarm for 5:30am. Sometime between going to sleep last night and the alarm going off this morning something shifted.

It probably started yesterday in my conservations with Chief and Cookie. It seems they have had the experience of coming along an interesting situation, person, town or event and wishing they could stay and have more of the experience, whatever it is. They've written down names of towns they would like to come back to explore but in the same sentence wistfully saying they probably won't get back. Yesterday when coming close to the Fish Lake trail Cookie was plotting how he could leave his pack at the trailhead, run down to the cafe here, have a milk shake and run back, pick up his pack and catch up with Chief. In the next breath he said, "No, I gotta keep my eyes on the prize." And that's it in a nutshell. Motivation and single minded focus is what gets folks from Mexico to Canada in one go.

Clearly these are qualities I don't have, at least as relates to hiking the PCT. This reality has been sneaking up on me for some time now and has been a disappointment to me. On the other hand, I always said from the very beginning that I didn't know if I liked thru-hiking or the IDEA if thru-hiking. Clearly the idea is what interested me, not the reality. The reality is hard, dirty, hot (or cold) and buggy. It's also drop dead gorgeous, fun and empowering, when it is. I guess for me, at least recently, its been more of the former than the latter. Sad to say.

Eight days ago my goal was to walk north for two months, hopefully getting to Canada. Three days ago, as it became clear I wasn't walking fast enough to get anywhere near Canada, my goal switched to walking through Oregon, bussing back to Ashland, picking up my truck and visiting friends in the PNW, folks I hadn't seen in years.

When I woke up this morning I had no desire to put on my pack and walk 15 miles. Zero, zilch, nada. Not one cell in my body was motivated to continue on hiking. My brain tells a story of disappointment and failure but my body says enough. Which part do I listen to?