There is a casual line in Cheryl Strayed’s Wild that talks about the habit hikers on both the Appalachian and Pacific Coast Trails have of giving each other trail names. The Kid, and maybe Crazy Horse, Bagels, His Tallness, Miss Mole, Twin Peaks, Double Dip, The Mouth. Et cetera, et cetera. On these long-distance trails, with hiker befriending hiker, at times walking together for days at a stretch — or maybe hooking up for a few short days and then hearing from others about progress or difficulties — the tendency to inspire trail names seems a manifestation of the camaraderie that occurs on these longest of long-haul foot trails. I imagine it’s the close quarters and intensity of experience that contributes to the informal and usually complimentary monikers.
I’m sometimes tempted to do the same with bnb guests. Over the course of days — sometimes just a couple, but sometimes for as long as a week — I get to know people pretty well. Not everyone, of course, but some. As it was for Strayed, paths of disparate lives intertwine in bursts of a few days and in those short stretches true snippets of personality are revealed. Mismatch (as in how did they find each other), Love Birds (you can guess), The Winebergs (for their love of vino), the Travel Bugs, Little Miss Helper, Mr. Clean, and Mouthwash-not are some trail-name equivalents I could bestow on guests. They could do the same for me (hmmm, now that might be a wake-up call).
Til I write my masterpiece I’ll be nice (and mostly just use first names). 🙂
The Runners. Tim and niece Alyssa came from the corn fields of Illinois, from a town of under a thousand to the west coast and bigger cities of California – a dream of Alyssa which Tim enabled. They were runners, walkers, and (understandably) enthusiastic consumers of muffins/carbs. All to fuel their vast interests.
Still crazy after all these years (for each other). Lou and Lisa from a beachside setting to the south. Lou is an educator, Lisa, well, if you can think it career-wise, she very well may have done it. Big smiles and positive energy enough to give away. Crazy for life and each other.
Father and son Bob and Michael give Treehuggers a good name. Here to commune with the redwoods and specifically the Titans, they were entranced and energized by their surroundings, as I was by their mere presence.
Dave and Dallice dropped down from their hot zone to the north to the cooler Smith and then the Rogue. Call them the River Rats, they floated and swam for hours in the Smith. Was it hot enough for you, guys?
Karri found me online and brought her hub and parents along for the ride. These Aussies (and a Brit) were throwbacks (ah, yes…the Throwbacks) to simpler times – what moved them were trees, music, poetry, and food.
Matt and Megan were the Honeymooners. Too young for bucket lists, it could be their earnest Midwestern roots wherein these things are not taken lightly. So – the redwood forest was checked off their list as was sleeping on a boat, driving California Hwy 101, and visiting Olympic National Park.
Cristoph and his crew from Germany were detail-driven sorts on vacation from the requirements of more-observant lives. Academics and doctors, they checked their more complicated lives at the door, expressing sheer joy at being on vacation and in such a spot as this.
Klaus and Miken are old world souls trapped in the bodies of new world explorers. They stayed earlier on their drive north to Alaska and again here, when this pic was taken, on their way south after more than a month in that 50th state to the north. Yes, the Explorers.
Kathleen and Katherine were back for a second stay. Repeat visitors, they spilled out of their car like triumphant daughters of the bnb. Back again, only this time with kayaks, with wine, and with a bit more gusto.
Rachel and Marianne, free spirits (call them the Spirits) who brought with them much fuel for good living – wine, cheese, and Stolichnaya. Which they shared freely. Call them spirits with much appreciation of the secular.
Marty and Gil. Pure Jersey (I should know as I wear the same spots), they were visiting family and as Gil said, smelling the clean pacific air (in shorter supply back home, yes?).
Kelly and Moe. Escape artists from busy urban lives, they were chilling on the banks of the Smith before parenthood, just around the corner.
Kim and Jeff, among the easiest going of guests, did some hiking, some dining, and some relaxing. Busy lives back east, they were stress-free on the coast.
Doug and Jane. Experienced in life, drawing on rich stories, some told and others theirs alone. They are in their comfort zone in each other’s presence, and so freely shared that calm.
Talk about stories to tell, Doug and Maureen had a few as well. Reunited from their days in high school, they now ply the not-so-high but still present Gulf seas in a catamaran built for two. We envied their positive energy and sense of adventure.
Dustin and Lourdes were recovering at the bnb from an oft-times rain-soaked backpacking trip in parts east. Of course, we welcome all comers, but especially those who seek alternatives to the beaten path.
Peter and Gabriela brought their sense of adventure (and kids) from Switzerland. Again, the well-traveled Europeans shock us with their cool demeanors and sophisticated sense of travel. Yes, the Sophisticates.
Chris and Heather, from just a few states to the east were on an epic road trip, hitting many of the places Meg and I have on our must-see list. Maybe next time we can share in the fun together!