Riddle: Come up and let us go, go down and here we stay.
Just about everything, even enjoyable things, when done over and over again get a little old. Hiking is no different. Do it everyday, all day and it gets a bit monotonous at times, especially in Northern California.
So, we do things to break up that monotony. A lot of hikers listen to podcasts or music.
Another thing we did this stretch is start solving riddles. We happened to fall into a group of friendly Canadians and one of them has a riddle app on his phone. Some are pretty easy, while others take a day or two of hiking to solve.
During another stretch we amused ourselves with a word game we’d seen being played out on signs on the trail. You think of all kinds of crazy word combinations that the letters P C T could stand for. Pina Colada Time was one of my favorites.
Some hikers amuse each other with practical jokes or pranks, like putting a big rock or a bunch of your trash in your friend’s pack and seeing how long it takes them to notice it’s there.
And then there is Toto Toyota the PCT hubcap.
When I first saw it, I thought it was the silliest thing, but then, isn’t this whole thing silly? It was found in Cajon Pass by the hikers Pretzel and Road Runner and has traveled with thru hikers on the trail ever since, each taking a turn carrying it 50-100 miles (it’s not really that heavy), then signing the back. You can follow its journey by searching the hashtag #tototoyotathepcthubcap on Instagram.
Not-a-Bear joked that the hubcap may be racking up more trail miles than I am. My response: it’s getting a free ride!
Also on this stretch, we stopped into the town of Mt. Shasta for a quick resupply and to get me some new shoe inserts at the outfitter there. I have to give another huge shout out to this outfitter, The Fifth Season, and especially Lief, the owner. He customized a pair of inserts for me by looking at my feet and the wear on my old inserts. My feet are still a work in progress, but I learned a lot from him and he gave me some extra foam to continue to add my own adjustments and get the pressure more evened out.
Northern California has been fairly flat and fairly uneventful. Here’s some photos of the scenic highlights.
We’re in the small town of Etna now, Oregon so close we can smell it! We only have a few more days in California. It feels like a long time coming and I’m so excited!
See you in Oregon,
P.S. Did you get the riddle yet? I’ll post the answer in the next update.