Day -3: Edinburgh to San Diego

I’d packed my bag, said goodbye to my parents, cat, and favourite Sims, actually eaten a reasonable breakfast. Feeling about as prepared as I possibly could I took a taxi to the airport, jumped out… and immediately dropped my phone. Broken. Not just a little bit, but utterly, comically smashed.

The cracks extended right over the screen, but I still compulsively hit the power button and expected the device to jump back to life. I am not new to the phone dropping game. These things often look worse than they are. Nothing. Well, almost nothing. A small white square at the heart of the damage flickered tauntingly, as if it were entirely responsible for my phone’s lack of conciousness.

I hammered the power button a few dozen more times out of annoyance more than anything else, and finally, the screen showed some signs of life. I could read it just well enough to get the details I needed for my flight, and gratefully forwarded the most significant of my data on by email. And then messaged my parents, just to wipe out any trace of confidence they might have had left in my ability to handle this trip.

I tried to ignore the phone until I’d made it to London, at which point things were looking pretty grim. The small white square had become a growing black mass, gradually expanding to consume the pixels around it, while the rest of the screen was fading through exciting shades of turquoise and purple.

I admitted defeat and frustratedly went to buy a replacement, both worse and more expensive, from a busy airport shop. Through a series of award navigations and copies and pastes around a rapidly shrinking workable screen I managed to get all the authentication and two-factor details I needed moved on to the new phone.

There. Back almost to where I started. But, this is supposed to be a hiking blog. Why am I giving you so many details about the ways in which I’ve managed to destroy my phone? Because if you’re going to follow me on this trip, I need you to understand this, straight up and from the start: I am an absolute fucking disaster of a human being.

I have grown half-way decent at rapidly finding solutions to problems only because I have grown full-way decent at rapidly causing them.

But I’m sure this is it. The next 5 months are going to be just fine.

Executive Summary

What are you doing?
I’m taking a break from video games to hike to Canada.

How come?
Video games are tiring and I want nice legs.

From Scotland??
No, don’t be ridiculous. From Mexico.

Oh, on that Pacific Coast Trail?

The toothpaste?
The Pacific Crest Trail.

Ah. Like Cheryl Strayed in that book Wild?

Like Reese Witherspoon in the movie adaptation of that book Wild?

Why though?
Just wanted to be more like Reese Witherspoon but couldn’t get in to Harvard Law.

With other people?
No, Reese never got back to me so I’m going it alone.

But what if you get lost and there’s no-one else around to help you?
I’ll just loudly assert my gender identity and someone will undoubtedly show up to argue with me.

But what if it’s really hard or you get injured or there’s a bear or you run out of money and you cant do it?
Guess I’ll die.

Is there somewhere I can read and follow everything you’re doing?
Yes. It’s here.