We catch the greyhound to Vancouver in the morning, along with Tintin, Smokey, and Tailor. Everyone else is going to stay another day. My newly acquired motion-sickness has only gotten worse, it seems. I have to sit up ramrod straight, stare exactly straight ahead, and focus on keeping it together for the entire bus ride. I tried to buy some dramamine or something at one of the bus depots, but they only sell drugs in pharmacies in Canada. Even tylenol. What is wrong with this place.
We get off at the bus station and J and I walk into the city towards some hostels we looked up using the wifi in the station. The moment I feel like I’ve been thrust into one of the lower levels of hell – people shouting, jaywalking and cursing out the cars, cars honking, more people yelling at each other. My tender woodland soul wants to run and hide.
Once we find the hostel, J and I walk inside, wandering around looking for how to get set up. The place is a complete hole. In the social room there is a crowd of scruffy dudes sitting around a junky coffee table, smoking hookahs and weed. A guy comes out to tell us it’s too early to check in – it’s 3:30, he doesn’t do check-in till 4, don’t we see the sign?? Then he goes back into the lounge. We leave the cramped hallway and go back outside, where at least the sun is shining and the city buildings look clean and bright, and go to a little city park to sit on the grass and wait. I cry.
We haven’t been there long, sitting on the grass, depressed, when a guy walks by, then stops, turns around, and asks in a thick Japanese accent, “PCT hikers?”
“Are you Celery?” asks J.
“I have your tent stakes!”
“Your tent stakes. The ones you dropped? We found them.”
“You have them with you?” Celery asks, incredulous.
“Right here,” J replies, pulling them out.
Celery is astounded and delighted. We’re all pleased. We ask him where he is staying, and follow him back to a different hostel, which costs a couple bucks more, but feels like maybe we’ll wake up in the morning with all our belongings. We run into Tintin, Smokey, and Tailor in the evening – it’s nice to see some friendly faces. Tomorrow we’ll head to Seattle and start figuring out the rest of our trip home