Pacific Northwest Trail; zero#1

Wednesday, July 30th, 2019; day 10

I sit in the lounge/casino attached to the Silverado hotel in Eureka. Alone in the room, I swivel on a bar stool sipping hot coffee from a styrofoam mug. Two small, plastic wrapped blueberry muffins have been left for me. A sweet gesture.

A large flat screen TV displays our current president. The world boggles my mind. Next flash: Mississippi shooting in Walmart.

I hit it off with a kind lady named Brenda, who works at the Silverado. We chatted about life and trails.

I asked her if there was a post-office downtown, and she offered to help get me there when her shift ended, early that afternoon.

At around 1230, Brenda and I were on our way. I sent off some of the weighty, unnecessary items I was carrying. She then offered to take me around town. I could not believe it! The support lifted my spirits, and saved my tired feet.

We waited for a clearing to merge back in to traffic and head to the organic food store.

“Eureka is only seven miles from Canada.” Brenda said, “A lot of Canadians have been moving in. The town does not have street lights. Due to the build-up in traffic, this may have to change soon.”

After the food store we travelled further in to town. She pointed me in the direction of two thrift-stores, and told me to come find her in the bar when I was done. “Okay, thank you!” I smiled and set off.

In the second thrift-store I entered, I found a pair of crock sandals, just my size.

Feeling triumphant, I returned to the bar to find my new friend. I entered, exclaiming gleefully “My feet are free!”.

I pulled up a seat next to Brenda. She offered to buy me a drink. I gratefully accepted, ordering a vodka-soda. I enjoyed her company very much. Her kindness and encouragement helped me gather the strength to refocus, and enter the next leg of my journey.

After we finished our drinks, she dropped me back at the motel. I hugged her through the car window, and wished her farewell.

When I re-entered the hotel lounge, I met two thru-hikers that had just arrived. They were very kind. When I began to speak of the challenges of Mt. Locke, they told me that they had taken the original PNT, not the primary. They did not go over Mt. Locke.

We chatted at the bar as I ordered my next resupply online, to be shipped to The Yaak Mercantile and Tavern.

I snagged a Sawyer-Squeeze filter from a hiker-box, returned to my hotel room, organized my things a bit, and got distracted with distractions.

Soaking one foot at a time in an Epsom salt bath I made in an empty trash bin, I watched the story of Pocahontas on the Smithsonian channel.

I could not focus. I could not sleep.

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