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©2019 Blaine Hoppenrath

Sponge

Sponge was one of the first people that I met on the adventure.  He was at the curb outside of the baggage claim at the San Diego International Airport waiting for our ride to Scout and Frodo's.  He introduced himself as Chase, and told me he was from a small town in Colorado.  When he told me that I probably had never heard of Pagosa Springs, I told him that I had in fact heard of the town, as many people from Albuquerque use it as a weekend getaway spot.  I hiked around Sponge for most of the trip with the last sighting of him in Cascade Locks, OR. 

Sponge picked up very quickly that I am not good at hiding my emotions and reminded me that my face pretty much says exactly what I am feeling, which means one night he hiked on a few more miles with me so I had a shorter trip into town the next day.  I also learned very quickly that he is very, very smart.  He was my favorite person to debate politics with, as he is a very big Mayor Pete fan, and I am still in the Cory Booker camp.  He also recommended to me the podcast "White Lie" which I would highly recommend to everyone else. 

My favorite memory of Sponge would be when we went into Julian. We had camped closer to scissors crossing than the rest of our group.  When we found a ride into town we met a very nice father/daughter hiking duo.  When we got to town, Sponge and I were waiting around at Mom's Pies eating our free slice, when the father/daughter duo walked in and joined us.  Turns out, they had gotten a hotel room, and while we weren't spending the night, they did offer us their shower to get cleaned up before we went back out on the road.  

We took them up on their offer but while we were waiting for them to get the chance to shower all of our friends had shown up to town. We awkwardly said goodbye to our friends to ​our friends and headed to the hotel.  I walked out of the shower feeling very refreshed I saw a look of guilt in Sponge's face.  You see, we kind of felt bad that none of our other friends could shower but at the same time we really wanted that shower. The look on Sponges face was because he had ratted our secret of finding a place to shower to our friends.  Which they totally didn't care about.  But he definitely felt better coming clean about it.