PCT Day 149, Double Flip and a Flop with a Hop, Day 68

September 8

Zero day

Off-trail miles: 1
Running total: 1663.2
Since Arc, Woodpecker, & Raspberry were all hitting the trail today and we wouldn’t see them on-trail again, we had a goodbye breakfast at the Warming Hut- what a neat menu this place had! There was a section called “DYI” for all those who tend to modify their orders (I’m not picky, I just know what I want and what I don’t want!!! ;)) & for their pancakes, you can pick the batter (gluten free, whole wheat, or buttermilk), the mix-ins (Choco chips, fruit, etc.) AND the toppings! (Nutella, fruit compote, whipped cream, etc!) And they had a few vegan options, too! We were all very pleased with our feast 🙂

It was great spending one last morning with the gang and being able to share proper good-byes- we didn’t get to say goodbye to Woodpecker after day 45 & our goodbye with Raspberry & Arc was very rushed & distracted, as Matt and I were in a daze from the previous night’s events and confused and concerned for the future. Even though our reunion was brief, meeting up with the team in the Sierra was the best decision we could have made. I am SO proud of the girls for kicking-ass & will probably be sobbing when I see their Northern Terminus pictures. Arc has said that completing a Thru-Hike comes down to a lot of luck, which is definitely true to some extent (Matt and I were gifted some pretty shitty luck) BUT she dismissed the fact that it’s really fuckin hard and you need to be brave, resilient, mentally and physically tough, humble yet confident, smart, and maybe even a bit crazy- I am SO honored to have hiked along side these amazing girls who are about to achieve something so crazy/beautiful! We wish we could tag that thang with ya, but know that we are cheering you on from CA!! Stay warm;)

After breakfast & our goodbyes, Matt & I did some of our town errands that Matt always dreads- he HATES resupply, and it often puts him in a sour mood. I, on the other hand, LOVE grocery shopping! Food? Yayy!!

This next section of the PCT will be the longest food-carry we have had yet- almost 120 miles! AND, since we are taking it slower through the Sierra and hiking considerably less miles than normal (15-18 miles/day vs 20-28/day!), we needed to consider food for 8 days vs the 5 we would normally pack for. The easy part: we planned to stop at the Vermillion Valley Resort, “VVR,” where we would be enjoying a few meals in their restaurant AND we made reservations at the Muir Trail Ranch, “MTR,” which includes three meals, SO, some meals were taken care of. The super tricky part: these two stops come within the first few days after leaving Mammoth, and from MTR we had 4.5 days to get to our next resupply point. Fitting more than a few days worth of food with 3000ish calories/day into a bear can* is nearly impossible, and even if we could fit it, carrying that extra weight would be unbearable, especially if we wouldn’t be eating the bulk of it until after MTR.

{*What’s a bear can? It’s a 2.5lb plastic jar with a lid that I can’t even open that is supposedly also bear proof- we are supposed to store ALL scented items (both food and none-food) in our bear cans (yeah, right…) They are often required in wilderness areas with high bear activity where other proper bear storage devices are not readily available. We are required to carry them through Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks- essentially most of the Sierra section. We will be carrying ours from Kennedy Meadows North (mile 1017) to Kennedy Meadows South (mile 702)- that’s 315 miles with 2.5extra pounds! {Think, we don’t even carry extra underwear to save weight…this is a major blow to our pack weight!!) BUT, we do it ’cause it’s for the bears- the hope is that with bear canisters, bears cannot access your food and associate humans with food. They say a fed bear is a dead bear…}

But, back to our resupply drama:

Luckily there is a small store at VVR with limited resupply options and a notoriously huge hiker box at MTR where people can often pull off a full resupply BUT, we had to gamble a bit- what if we counted on the hiker box and we hit it on a shitty day and it was empty??! How much food should we or could we reasonably bring?!?

I ended up packing enough meals to get from Mammoth to Bishop minus one dinner. (2 bagels and 4 protein cookies for breakfast, 6 peanut butter packets for lunch, and a few packages of ramen, 2 easy macs{for one dinner}, & a mountain house meal for dinners. I packed enough snacks to get me to MTR & hoped that I could find some good munchies in the hiker box. Matt, being less picky than me, brought a few less meals.
{Sidenote: our crazy friends packed enough food for 8-9 days to get them 160 miles through the rest of their Sierra section! Beasts!}
For stress relief post resupply, Matt enjoyed a flight of beers at a local brewery before we headed back to the Airbnb.
We completed our zero day with dinner at The Mogul, our go-to dinner date when we are in Mammoth. Nomnomnom
Back to the trail tomorrow:)

Happiness is: breakfast with friends & a dinner date at The Mogul

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