The people at the table behind us are talking shit about us.
We’re eating pizza at the one other restaurant in Alpine, the one that’s not the right wing white supremacist Bear Wallow Cafe. We thought this restaurant would be better, and it sort of is? There aren’t any confederate flags or fliers for the militia, at least. But the table behind us is talking about us. Loudly.
“You know, those nose rings are made for cows,” says one older white woman to another. I swear to god Muffy and I look like the whitest, most heteronormative straight ladies right now- we’re wearing black leggings and puffy jackets. We’re clean. All but our hand tattoos are covered. We’re careful not to touch. We look like straight yoga teachers who rock climb, or something. And yet, we’re somehow different enough to elicit loud, rude comments in a crowded restaurant.
If this is what it’s like for us, what is it like for black folks who come through this town? Indigenous people? Folks more visibly queer?
It really makes you think.
“I’ve never felt afraid to be gay before,” says Muffy, when we’re back in our motel room. The room is a mess of gear, clean laundry, open bags of chips and cereal, dirty towels and the shelter hanging to dry over the door- Muffy googled how to fix the zipper and we were able to do it- we borrowed a pair of needlenose pliers and squeezed the slider shut! We’ve run all our errands- the thrift store for an extra fleece layer, grocery store resupply- and are happy to spend the rest of the day in bed with the heater on, working on our blogs and hiding from the cold, cold rain. One awesome thing that happened is we found a ride back to the trail in the morning! A woman named Debbie and her husband Aaron- they saw the flier we made and put up at the gas station. Debbie knows about long distance hiking, and she’s working on her own route in the White Mountains. She and her family were planning on going hiking for mothers’ day, which is tomorrow, and were headed that way anyway. She’s even down to shuttle future MRT hikers back to the trail- the MRT’s first trail angel!
The rain isn’t letting up anytime soon, but we’ve got more layers now and extra food, and we’re ready to finish this route!