NOBO Day 79 Solider Creek to Chester 5 kms

We didn’t have far to go today so when I woke at 5.45 am I let Ollie keep sleeping……till 7. We ate breakfast and drank coffee in bed, I spilt the last few sips of mine and was bitterly disappointed (on the inside). The 3 miles to the road were lovely. I walked behind, allowing some distance between us so I could have the forest and my thoughts to myself. 

My favourite part of the days walk was when the trail comes upon a gorgeous Meadow, Soldier Meadow. It’s long and green and right now there is lots of water flowing down its centre. Logs line the trail and lead you over an old wooden boardwalk style bridge. Looking left down the Meadow I could see a wooden shed falling into itself, the timbre bleached from wet winters and hot summer sun. The meadow ended and the forest began again. Ollie waited for me on a huge stump of what would have once been a giant tree. These stumps obvious remains of humans imparting their dominance over the forest is a sad reminder of what we do at natures expense. 

An older couple were heading out to the trail and we chatted to them about their ambitions to walk the entire length of the PCT next year. I hope they do! At the highway we caught a hitch easily with an anthropologist who was heading to Nevada to collect Obsydian. The radio was blaring the red hot chilli peppers. His name was Kevin and he had lots of tats, oiled back long black hair and some interesting facts. He dropped us way out of town and we walked down the main drag sticking out our thumbs in hope of a ride closer to town.  Along the way we stopped in at a local art gallery run by local artist. It had a variety of work, we didn’t invest in any. 

Finally, Jim came to the rescue. Out jumped a bandy legged older man who I imagine his hay day would have been quite good looking. He had been trail running with his dog who looked like a large fluffy black rat (Jim says the doggie is bear/lion bait). We chatted about his passion for trail running and our lives on the trail. He dropped us at the Kopper Kettle Diner. We found a booth and ordered. Ollie said I wasn’t allowed to order an omelette, my usual go to so I got a Caesar salad. It had too much dressing. While we waited for our orders to arrive Jim reappeared, this time in some checkered blue and green cotton shorts. He came and checked in on us and wanted to shout us breakfast. He wouldn’t take no for an answer and left us with $20. The kindness and generosity of people never ceases to amaze me. As he left the diner he stopped off and chatted to other locals eating their meals and drinking coffee at the bar. Something about his friendly, cheeky charm and good looks reminded me of my grandpa Ray Ray.

We sat in the booth for a long time, then we gathered our thoughts and went next door to resupply. Ollie by now had begun to feel quite sick. He was exhausted, hot and I could see he was quickly fading. After shopping we sat like bums out the front of the marker and I chatted to Joni on the phone for a while. We then decided to head to the church and see if Ollie’s health improved. It didn’t and so we pitched the tent, showered and I got supplies for cups of tea and dinner. 

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