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Met up with my friend, Chris. He picked me up on the Oregon Coast Trail last year when I was walking the highway in the rain. I wasn’t hitchhiking, he just happened to stop on the side of the road to get an idea of when his friends would be passing through on their bikes. We got to talking and he said he could give me a lift out of the cold rain. He strapped my bag to his bike and drove us to Safeway where I bought us some lemon poppyseed muffins.

This year, we happened to be in Alaska at the same time so he picked me up and took us hiking up Flattop! I couldn’t comprehend how people labeled the trails in Alaska as “casual”. Flattop was probably the most popular trail in Anchorage and no one mentioned rock scrambling, lack of switchbacks and attempting not to roll off the mountain. I didn’t mind, it was just interesting to witness what was normal for some and difficult for others. I would do it again in a heartbeat!