We were told there are 9 places to eat within walking distance of our motel. As a thru-hiker in progress I am not exactly sure how far walking distance is. It is probably further than the McDonald’s across the street, but that is where I go for coffee at 5:30am. By 7:00am Terri and I walk a block to the cafe where we had dinner, but this time we are here for coffee, omelettes and oatmeal. We agree it is a beautiful day for a wedding.
When son Daniel and daughter in law Cindy arrive at our motel, we head back to the cafe. We have been here three times in under 12 hours and the wait staff is getting suspicious. After our final pre-wedding meal we return to the motel to dress. My suit fits looser than usual on my PCT starved body, but it will do. Terri apparently likes my thinner look and encourages me to quickly return to the trail to continue my disappearing act. Some people are never satisfied.
The wedding ceremony is everything you could want it to be. It is in my absolute favorite place, the outdoors. Birds and butterflies are the theme and live monarchs are released during the ceremony. In honor of the 7/11 date there is even a working Seven Eleven slurpee machine.
Because it is so difficult to get back into the hiking groove many experienced thru-hikers advise against leaving the trail, even for a wedding. I, however, would not have missed this for the world. Congratulations Lauren and Michael!
As soon as the cake is cut, it is time for us to cut as well. Terri is taking me and Kevin back to where I exited the trail at Highway 3. We take turns driving and arrive at a motel in Stockton CA after midnight. We fall into our rented bed for a few hours of needed sleep.