To the Infamous Scout and Frodo's

May 4, 2017
San Diego to Scout and Frodo's

Woke up feeling the effects of the pub crawl and with piles of mess to clean up from spending three days in a single location. Packed up, slowly. Ran to REI for tenacious tape, sent our snow gear to San Jacinto/Idyllwild post office, ate at Native Foods (meh), dropped the car off at Karl's (trail angel), caught a ride with Bud Leaf (real name, another trail angel), and landed amidst the fresh meat hikers at Scout and Frodo's. Unfortunately, we don't get to meet Scout as he is off hiking the Appalachian Trail to finish his triple crown, but Frodo does an amazing job of running this hiker operation with just a few helpers, and we are eternally grateful.

On first impression, my favorite folks are Mette (Danish, hilarious, only brought skirts to hike in), Crash (Aussie, 6 lb. base weight, super fast, not his first rodeo, I like him because he's humble), and Michael, another Dane (a Danish police officer, to be exact). I chose ice cream sandwiches and chips & salsa as my final civilized snacks and shared the sandwiches so they didn't melt.

Alex introduced me to the word 'posturing', a word which means 'a particular way of behaving that is intended to convey a false impression'. It's a very pertinent word when dealing with green thru-hikers, as there is a tendency of one-upmanship to appear as the most likely hiker to finish. Luckily, the only two posturing at Scout and Frodo's were a couple who did the Appalachian Trail last year and knew that their opinion was superior. I chose not to engage with them rather than become infuriated. I have no tolerance for posturing or one-upmanship games. The thing is, I don't think any of us have any idea what we're getting ourselves into this year, regardless of how many other trails we have or have not hiked.

Crash said something nice tonight, whether he meant it that way or not. He told us that the group at Scout and Frodo's last night (May 3) was running all over the place, and we were polar opposites. He's telling me this as I'm sitting on Scout and Frodo's lawn trying to keep my hands and mind busy because I've finished everything I need to do before hitting the trail tomorrow. Except one thing—because I knew I'd need something to fiddle with—my Minnesota state flag patch and my Devil's Tower Junior Ranger patch from when I was a kid. I saved the task of sewing them onto my pack for today, for just these hours when I knew I'd lose my mind sitting and waiting for the starting gun to go off.

The night ended with me having a semi-breakdown when I couldn't fit everything in my pack. I had bought additional food at the grocery store (because, snacks and being out of reach of a grocery store for the next week), and all that food didn't sit very well with my tiny ULA Circuit. It doesn't help that Mugwump, my beloved sleeping-on-a-cloud zero-degree Feathered Friends down sleeping bag is an absolute monster and takes up half the pack. Luckily, it all worked out with some pushing and shoving, until we realized we didn't have a blanket to sleep with and everyone had already gone to bed. Unwilling to wrestle my sleeping bag out of the godforsaken pack, we resigned ourselves to spending our last night in a bed shivering under the tiniest decorative throw on the planet.