los angeles

in the very early stages of planning i was plagued by what-ifs & the kind of logistical challenges that are hard to approach with little if any practical knowledge. thinking about small tasks like resupplying would inevitably spiral outwards like a mitochondria web & i would be overwhelmed & have to basically shut down & forget about it for a while. 

the most daunting of my worries, the one that came closest to being an impasse was that two of my best friends are getting married in june to each other just outside of mendocino. i knew i had to be there, it’s not something i would even consider missing out on. we lived together for a what felt like a year-long slumber party most of the time. we watched animaniacs, played settlers of catan, ate a lot of candy & leapt out from closets at each other. they are the friends i have had for the longest, who have known me since i was seventeen & fell asleep at every party. so of course i have to be at their wedding.

penelope’s bachelor party is this weekend in the desert so i am here in los angeles to play & plan for a while. 

the snowstorm of 2014 in portland with brian & penelope

i am obsessed with the shower at their peaceful house in carson. it’s the kind that has a normal head & also a handheld one but you can turn them on simultaneously & the water pressure is perfect & it is heaven. lately when i shower i try to imagine what it will even feel like after one hundred miles of dust & sweat. i can’t, of course, but i’ve been having fun making up little games like this for myself. 

i spend a lot of time petting tallulah, the most giant & floppy dog i have ever seen in my entire life, like an enormous muppet. i’ve been moonlighting as a dog walker for a while. i love it. it’s gratifyingly simple work & my heart feels like exploding when i see how happy a dog can be just to be out & in the world. i wonder if i will meet any dog friends on the trail. 

TALLULAH
 

i am obsessed with the shower at their quiet house in carson. it’s the kind that has a normal head & also a handheld one but you can turn them on simultaneously & the water pressure is perfect & it is heaven. staying with brian & penelope is comforting, familiar. 

i talk to brian’s dad, pat, for a long while about the dinosaur bones that he dug up in canada in his younger days. the bones themselves are perched innocuously in a shadow box just opposite a photograph of the hillsides where they searched for them. “what an adventure,” i said, taking in the ochre colored vertebra. he laughed, “nothing like the one you’re about to have”. pat knows california the way that people who have lived in california a long time always seem to. i pull up the app i’ll be using (in conjunction with paper maps) for navigation & we trace the red line northwards as he narrates the just-off-trail points of interest.

my last few days in portland were a chaotic whirl. i had my last day at work, anticlimactic but probably in a good way. i paced & fretted & spackled & cried. i slept for the last time in the small, bright house that has been home. it was a strange time. but i also had the pleasure & privilege of being surrounded by some of the most magical women i know. my friend sage hosted a perfect going away brunch in her perfect treehouse apartment. 

sage’s perfect apartment with amazing ladies

i’ve been kind of overwhelmed by the outpouring of support & enthusiasm from every corner of my life… the list of people i want to thank for ever & ever grows longer & longer. for now though: 

thank you to hannah for reminding me that being brave means asking for help or stoping all together if i want to & that saying my fears out loud will make me fucking unstoppable when i finish whatever journey this turns into. (sorry hannah i paraphrased your always wise af texts).

thank you to hallie for doing heavy lifting both physically (shout out to my dad’s giant glass coffee table that we carried down the steepest basement stairs) & especially emotionally. thank you for making me a nest on your living room floor on my last night in portland & taking care of me always.

thank you to rebecca for bringing me spackle & vegan ice cream & asking me all of the questions that i really secretly wanted to answer (e.x. how much does that rainjacket weigh?)

more thank yous to come because honestly i have like HUNDREDS

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