(try saying that five times fast.) Thank you to the spirited group at yesterday’s reading at the SF Library Mission Bay branch. The audience included a seasoned through-hiker named Matt, who completed the trail in one fell swoop, and quite a bit more recently than I did. In fact, he often averaged 26 miles a day. Last night, Matt, who lives right here in SF, actually convinced a fellow audience member to hike the PCT — or, at the very least, the Oregon/Washington section of it. The convert, who is about 60, was already on the fence — in fact, he’s been dreaming of doing a chunk of the trail for a very long time — but it is pretty clear that Matt pushed him over the edge on Wednesday. I think he’s actually going to do it. How cool is that? This discussion was quite a bit more technical than my usual talk. I asked Matt why someone doesn’t build a sturdy bridge over Bear Creek, one of the bigger hazards in the High Sierra, (at least as far as I’m concerned. It damned near drowned the Lois and Clark Expedition.) Matt explained that Bear Creek was probably worse than usual when I hiked it because it was late summer and quite warm, which meant that snowmelt was excessive and creeks were swollen. I should have known better. But then again, I did some pretty dumb things in the desert, too.