When I arrived in Chester, CA at 8pm after an hour hitch, I had no idea where I was going to stay. I checked out the hotels as they each priced me at $90/night. Deciding to go to the woods and pitch my tent, I started walking.
A car pulled over and the lady asked me if I needed anything. As we talked a bit, I found out that she was the front office manager at the dental office in town. "Hikers want to give me the name Tooth Fairy," she said. I laughed and explained that I was a Dental Hygienist and that trail name was almost given to me. After we chit-chatted and laughed for a while, I headed to the woods to set up my tent.
In the morning I walked to the office. When I arrived, she greeted me with much fun. From the dentist, I was given a $20 food voucher, new toothbrush, 2 cookies (baked by his wife), and floss. So amazing! The staff greeted me in the middle of their busy day. Turns out the Hygienist graduated from OIT just like me. She seemed like such a fun person and I became even more excited to start my dental hygiene job after my escapade.
Since the Dentist just finished section hiking the PCT last summer, I decided to talk to him about my predicament of trail boredom and my freedom to do other things. I knew he would understand. He suggested getting on the trail at Crater Lake and hiking the rest from there. Many people jump trail and hike sections that are more appealing to them. They realize their time off of the grind doesn't need to turn into that. Trail life is hiking 10-12 hour days every day, eating, and sleeping. I like a variety of activities. Trail life gets monotonous.
Either way, I'm proud of my 1300 miles. Right now my predicament is to learn how to surf, or hike through swarms of Mosquitoes all day. I grew up with Mosquitoes on the farm and everyother outdoor job I've had. It's safe to say I have had my fair share. I didn't grow up with a beach and I keep hearing that Santa Cruz would be a great place for me. After a couple weeks there, I could easily jump back on trail. We'll see where the wind blows. One of the only times in my life that I've been able to be completely free. This is awesome!
Many thanks to such an awesome dental staff in Chester, CA!