This past weekend I was one of the 70 or so folks that came to Hood River, Oregon to witness the marriage of The Mayor and Genius.
In 2010 I walked the Pacific Crest Trail with them for five months. I last saw them on June 16, 2017 in Hallowell, ME for lunch where they made me promise to keep quiet with the announcement that they had just become engaged.
I’m here in a rural AirB&B cabin rental for a few nights in Washington, beside Buck Creek, just north of the Columbia River with my fellow Triple Crown hiker Axilla and Train, who joined up with Megatex on our 2010 thru hike of the PCT.
When Train heard that three of the MeGaTex posse were pulling together again to attempt a Continental Divide Trail thru-hike in 2013, Train fired up his interior locomotive and became a driving force of movement and good judgement that assisted the gang in emerging from that graduate-school-level of hiking with our souls and bodies battered, wizened, but more importantly, transformed into the fully functioning human beings that we are today.
My other Triple Crown partner on all thee of the major US National scenic trails is Dick Wizard, Mayor’s older brother, who is staying across the Columbia River with his most excellent wife Emmie and their families.
We spiffed up pretty well for the wedding. I need to buy a suit.
We were thrilled to hike from Government Camp on the PCT today.
Stepping off the trail, I could not pull myself away from studying the thick shingles of bark on an ancient, giant evergreen of some west-coast type that was adorned with psychedelic colors of orange and green mosses, with clumps of lichen moving about a bit in the occasional gust of wind.
When I last passed though the PCT here, I stopped on a hiking break for trail magic, provided by Water and Bucket, two folks I hiked with for a bit on the Appalachian Trail in 2017. They fed us up and also supplied a few of the renowned Oregon microbrews. We visited them and their new baby, Ren, yesterday at their new house.
Old hiking friends remain close, even after years of physical separation. Living outside for months at a time as a part of a group does it to you, if you are fortunate to find the right group.