Language and Overalls

Two months!

My coworker and I have been at the terminus for two months now working. And let me say, there have so many incredible people that I have met. From day one when it was bucketing rain and snow all the way to last week when the temperatures were in the nineties. There are hikers out there. The biggest takeaway after interacting with them is communication.

There are people from all over the world that come to start the trail. I couldn’t even name all of the places. The language barriers do not stop them. I am super impressed. English is the main language used and some people speak very broken english. And let’s be honest, it is not the most friendly to learn. When they get to the terminus, sometimes we use different vocabulary for everybody to understand.

There were these four people from the Netherlands. When we would spoke to them, it was in English and they were able to respond very well. Afterwards when everyone was taking photos they were talking amongst themselves, they were speaking in Dutch. After about 10 minutes, they turned to me and asked if I understood anything they were saying. My response was “nope”! I have seen other individuals and couples come up and they are using a translator on their phone to understand what information we are giving them. They really are proving the point that hiking is universal across the world. I think it is amazing how fluid people are in language.

I recently went on a family vacation to Europe and I was shocked that a majority of the signs were in the language of the country and in English. That’s something I wish was done better everywhere whether it be French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Mandarin Chinese, Czech, and other languages. It makes transportation, restaurants, and everything else so much easier. I give my kudos to whoever is hiking with English as their second language. Whether they grew up learning it or know some broken pieces to get by.


Another aspect of being at the terminus is being quick with math. Meaning, that most other countries go by the metric system so they measure things in kilometers, kilograms, and Celsius. That’s just another aspect of us being quick on our toes so that everyone can understand the distance and how hot/cold it would be.

One that note, it is incredible how many people from all over the world come to hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Or at least, I am more aware of it this year because of my position on the trail. At the terminus, everyone is still clean and super excited to start hiking. And not to mention, I bet that a lot of people are jet lagged depending on how long they have been traveling and the duration from the time they arrived to the point they have started the trail.


A hiker was gracious enough to snap a candid photo of me early in the morning with my overalls!

My favorite outfit of choice wherever I go are overalls. (I have three pairs I brought with me to California). My greatest moment at the terminus so far I think was last week when I was wearing overalls. The shuttle had just dropped off a group of about 15 people along with some other families and trail angels all at once. When they all wanted a group photo, one trail angel had a phone to take it. I then offered to take photos on other phones. It was quite comical because all of a sudden, I had about 9 other phones in my hands and arms. The overalls made the situation even better because after ever photo on a singular camera, I was able to put the phone in one of the various pockets. The laughs made it worth it!

P.S. Enjoy all of the plant life that is currently blooming right now because it is gorgeous! Yucca, cholla, and many more desert plants are all blooming spectrally right now!

May 3rd, 2023




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Comments 1

  • kurt : May 13th

    just curious. how often do you encounter people along the trail ? I think of days without seeing anyone. But the more I read it seems you cannot go a day without seeing multiple hikers . which idea is correct ? thanks.


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