September 4, 2017
Hood River Zero Day
Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike: Day 122
Went to breakfast at River Daze Cafe. I had spent the morning trolling twitter to find out what the hell was going on with this new fire. Apparently some kid had thrown a smoke bomb into the extra-dry gorge near Tunnel Falls and the whole gorge lit up. We spent breakfast verbally grooming ourselves of the fucking horseshit plans we were going to have to make to get back on trail, one way or another. Did we go back to Lost Lake and road walk into Hood River? Then walk over to Cascade Locks to get to Bridge of the Gods? What if we started a road walk and then the road ahead of us closed? What the fuck was this kid doing anyway. We brainstormed unusual and therapeutically humorous punishments for his future.
Next to us, there was a couple eating breakfast who could definitely hear our shit-talking, but laughed at it. I think we were all in a state of shock/panic over what was happening and any verbal grooming was good verbal grooming. Near the end of breakfast they turned to us and offered us their place to stay while we figured out our business. The let all six of us stay in their home! Roy and Danielle.
At their home, Vice noticed an Oscar on the shelf. Yes, like, the movie award statue. Turns out Roy invented the 3D animation software that makes Pixar possible and won an academy award for it.
They had a bunch of beer magazines all over the place, so Alex and I started talking about craft beer. Turns out their son is the COO of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine.
Their house is beautiful, and I could go on about their ‘wow these must be important people’ things like Danielle’s photos with high-up political figures, but more than any of that they were generous, humble, and real. Real, easygoing folks that were a joy to talk to. Plus two golden retrievers named Calvin and Hobbes. DOGGERS!!!!! Gahhhh such a gift for our haggard, sad, hopeless-feeling crew to stumble upon.
We went back to Pfriem and spilled a beer immediately, but the guy refilled it and was very nice about it! We got gelato at a little stand where it’s handmade every day from Slow Food ingredients.
The gelato patio had a cord hanging up that sprayed cool mist, so we sat there for a long while.
Explored cool book shops and a fancy Goodwill. All the while I was trolling Twitter and the news to find out more about the fire.
The fire is spreading, drawing closer to Portland.
Roy ran down to Double Mountain to get beer for dinner, and came back up to the house wheeling a keg. Like… a full-sized keg. He wheeled it up the hill and put it on tap. Danielle made us smoothies with berries from across the street. What does that even MEAN!! This food is too fresh for me to understand.
After running around all day, we came back home to tacos for dinner. We sat on the deck drinking beer and deep diving with our conversation. Tears were shed. Book lists were written down for each other. And we kids tried to watch the Little Prince, six of us in the bedroom, and Vice is the only person who stayed awake to watch the whole movie.