Before bed I tell the others that I’m not hiking out in the morning; I want to take a zero. I’m tired, unimaginably so, in every part of my body. Ever since my epic dehydration I’ve felt awful, and I’ve been dragging myself down the trail. I haven’t taken a zero yet; it’s time to rest.
I wake at dawn to a little light coming in the windows of our basement room and lay in bed, scrolling on my phone. The bed is comfortable, almost overwhelmingly so, but I still didn’t sleep amazing. I don’t know what it is- I just haven’t slept well on the trail so far. Sometimes I’ve been cold, but mostly I’ve just been sort of… awake. The weeks before this hike were such a whirlwind of stress and logistical juggling, making things come together at the last minute, worrying that nothing would work out- by the time I flew to San Diego on April 24th I was epically drained and almost rigid with anxiety- and I still haven’t come off that train. It’s happening, though, bit by bit. The woods are working me down like they do. There’s nothing more healing, in my book, than turning my brain off to walk.
The others wake and we check the weather- 34 degrees outside, high winds, snow later. We’ve just learned that rooms at the Snow Bear Lodge down the road are forty bucks. Everyone’s feet are sore, everyone is a bit weary. It’s not hard to convince them to stay.
We go to breakfast with a bunch of other hikers at the Grizzly Manor, a crowded greasy spoon with fantastic portions. I eat a giant breakfast and parts of my friends’ breakfasts as well. We walk in the cold wind down the long boulevard to the huge supermarket, where I buy chicken strips and an orange. Then back to the hostel and to the Snow Bear (although it’s a zero, we walk about 4 miles) where the sweetest elderly lady in the world sells us a warm, well-lit room with three beds and a gas fireplace for forty bucks. Thus begins the long afternoon of sitting, napping, and scrolling on our phones, eating nutella on strawberries and making phone calls to friends while outside, somewhat magically, it begins to snow.
At 6 p.m. there’s a knock on the door- Himalayan food delivered from a place down the street, courtesy of Betty Wheeler, an incredibly generous woman I met at Scout and Frodo’s who wanted to buy us all dinner. (Thanks Betty!!) None of us have ever had Himalayan food, and we dig in at great speed until we’re uncomfortably full, and then we eat some more. Today has been a great party of Eat All The Things; now we’re sleepy and sort of sedated, we sprawl over the beds/floor and talk about nothing, watching the rain fall and waiting for the sun to go down. In the morning we have a ride back to the trail from Rock Ocean, the awesome trail angel, and then- then what happens?
Here are the blogs of some of the people I’m hiking with- they are good check them out!
Photos on instagram