How I got my Trail Name….Sofa Queen
There were a couple things I knew I needed to have on point before I left on my PCT Trek. One big thing was my sleep system.
I have tried it all on previous trips: a foam pad only, an inflatable one, one pillow, two inflatable pillows, etc. You get the point.
So in planning this thru-hike, I asked myself, ‘what is a big thing I need, that if dialed in, will contribute to my overall success?’ That, to me, was being able to sleep comfortably each night on trail.
Enter now all the options… I did my research! I’m a side-sleeper, so I knew an inflatable pad was the way to go. I found the Big Agnes SJX. Got that! Then, I already had a foam one (plus the foam pad now doubles as a backcountry yoga mat… Boom!) I had “tootsie,” my cheap, yet amazing foam cylinder-shaped pillow (about 12” long) that I always brought on car-camping trips. That was necessary! (It literally has never lost its shape.) And lastly, since I’m a snuggler, I knew I needed something to cuddle, so I researched compressible foam pillows that could pack down, and I chose the MyPillow roll-n-go travel pillow. Got that!
Ok, you may be thinking, not that light. No, it’s not. What carry all that? Why not!? I brought all 4 items anyway! (I did extra reps in the gym to cover the extra weight)
So, here I am… lots o’gear, setting up my first night on trail, and my girlfriends (who had joined me for the first 60 mile stretch), were commenting on my backcountry luxury. Damn straight!
I sleep SO well! Like amazingly well! I could sleep for hours. I was perfectly comfortable, and I loved it! A naturally, though, as the days passed, and other hikers started seeing my elaborate set-up, the jesting was began (they were just jealous!) I let it roll off the shoulders (because guess what, they didn’t hurt)!
I got called ‘Princess,’ ‘Queen,’ all the sorts. . Nothing seemed to stick, as to a trail name, so I went with the flow and let the days pass.
But, it only took 3 days, and on the day that we happened to touch the Canadian terminus, my friends had conferred with other hikers, and they shared that “Sofa Queen” was my official trail name!
Out time at the terminus was so emotional. Not only did my friends tell me my official trail name, one of them, Tina, prepared a short speech and recited snippets from Dr. Seuss’s, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” I cried. I knew I was officially on my start!
Tina actually made this amazing video highlighting the first four days of our out-and-back trek from Harts Pass to Canada and back. You can watch the video here.
If you want to watch the SNL spoof about “Sofa-King,” and thereby understand the inspiration behind my name, you can watch the skit here.
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