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PCT day 23: where I used to live

First order of business today is coffee for Backup, then breakfast sandwiches at Aardvark’s. We’re waiting for our food when Ant (a sobo with whom we’ve crossed paths a few times) comes up behind us, looking hale and happy, and greets us with an arm over each of our shoulders. He’s been hiking with Dragonfly and Cowgirl, and they’re all camped with the Airstream just down the road. Cowgirl shows up and we compare notes, and then they’re off, getting ready to hit the trail again today. 

Backup and I pack up and wait for Anne, a family friend from when I was growing up, who has graciously offered to host us for the day and night. When she arrives, she sweeps us off down the highway to the REI in downtown Seattle, where Backup re-outfits himself with some necessary new gear (including a tent, so we can hike independently). Somewhere in there we get lunch (town days = all the food), and in early evening we drive across the bridge to Anne and Paul’s home. We all go out to dinner, then sit on the deck talking till bedtime.

Anne showed me, hanging on their bathroom wall, a watercolor painting I made when I visited their house on Blakely Island in the San Juans as a kid. I remember it. But it’s funny to be back where I grew up and not actually recognize much. We drove down a street in Bellevue and Backup said “oh! I’ve been here!” and I, who lived here ten years, was lost. There are places I would know: our access street off W Lk Samm Pky NE (I used to love reciting that series of abbreviations when people asked for our address), Marymoor Park, the giant chess set at Crossroads, and the neighborhoods around my high school down in Tacoma. But the cities are nothing… I never knew them the way I know the places I’ve lived as an adult.

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