PCT Day 160, Double Flip and a Flop with a Hop, Day 79

Sept 19

Zero day!!
Off-trail miles: 3
PCT miles: 1651.5
Running total: 1797.5
Zero Day Chores(/Stress) & Fun!
Today’s stress:
•We had to call the PCTA to change our permits since our NoBo permits did NOT cover us for being in the Sierra now, heading Sobo. While PCT permits are technically NOT required, they take the pressure out of having to stop at ranger stations along the way to secure permits for the particular sections where permits are required.

The PCTA provides both thru-hike and section hike permits when the section hike is greater than 500 miles.

Our hike from Echo Lake (where we restarted) to Tehachapi (where we were ending) was greater than 500 miles, but unfortunately the PCTA could not administer any more “section hikes” through the Sierra. When I accidentally disclosed that Matt and I didn’t actually tag the border in Canada, the PCTA lady told us that she couldn’t give us a SoBo thru-hike permit either. Shittt. She suggested we stop by the local ranger station to see if we could get a permit for our upcoming section.
• We had to call the local Rangers station to see if we could get a permit from Kearsarge Pass to Kennedy Meadows South. They luckily had permits available, so Matt and I walked over to the station to obtain permits. Phewww. No longer delinquent “tru-hikers”
• Resupply: I think we finally figured out our resupply!! We now go solo through the grocery store and reunite at the check-out, only sharing a few staples like cheese crackers and the occasional pack of poptarts.
• Arranging a ride back to the trailhead- I called a man named Will, whose number I stumbled across in a comment on Guthooks. Will hesitated at first, as his son was coming to town for the weekend, but he eventually called me back to say that he would drive us. While we could have tried to hitch, having a ride makes the return to trail so much less stressful (and forces us to actually return to trail!! No more accidental zeros…)
Today’s fun:

• sleeping in a bit! Always a pleasure…

•Breakfast at the Pupcafe, a tasty little joint in the back of a bookstore.
•Shopping around local outdoor shops- we have no self control when it comes to outdoor gear! We were excited to run into Mark & Sandy again, who apparently also share the same vulnerability!
•A trip to The Great Basin Bakery. Matt has a new method for optimizing our bakery experiences: we each pick a treat, then we agree on a treat to share. We must have had a little trouble counting (/lacked self-control…) ’cause we accidentally purchased a scone, a large ginger snap cookie, a giant choco chip cookie, & a humongo-jumbo choco lava cake cookie…we destroyed the evidence in record time.
•A trip to the Looney Bean for pumpkin spice chai tea fraps…we have no shame in our pumpkin spice season game!

SO glad we weren’t in the mountains!! IT SNOWED!!

• Lunch @ Erik Schats Bakkery, a bread-lovers paradise! Imagine aisles and aisles of fresh, delicious bread AND free samples. Oh be still my heart! {One day Matthew and I were driving through Bishop on our way home from Mammoth & we purchased a loaf of bread from Schats…only a piece remained by the time we got home!} This time we controlled ourselves and only ordered big ass sandwiches ’cause we didn’t want to ruin…
• Matthew’s Birthday Dinner at Sage! Possibly the highlight of our day, we dined at this too nice for thru-hikers restaurant in an area of Bishop we had never explored before. We had about 284 courses of yummy food, including 2 bread baskets, a shared appetizer, soup, salad, dinner, & dessert…nomnomnom. While we were dining, we saw two other underdressed thru-hikers stumble in looking for some tasty grub- because I’m me, I initiated convo, and within minutes I thought we were experiencing some sort of glitch in the matrix- I literally turned to Matt and asked, “are they us?!!?”
I was seriously so taken aback by how similar this couple, Fortune Cookie and Turtle, were to us!! Some of the similarities that I remember:
They live in SoCal (✓)
Injury took them off trail for a month. (✓)

They flipped and flopped. (✓)

They said that once they realized they couldn’t finish, they started to slow down and enjoy it more. (✓)
They said, word for word, “we only did ONE 30 mile day to see if we could do it.” (✓) {I cannot tell you how many times I have said this!!}
They said, “we aren’t here to be miserable.” (✓)
They are missing the 27 miles in Oregon from the CA/OR border to Ashland because they couldn’t figure out the logistics to get there (✓)
When I told them that we knew somebody who got a ride from Ashland to the border they asked, “was that Mango?” Yes, yes it was!!!
Literally everything that was said was a shared storyline! Nuts!!
We let Fortune Cookie & Turtle escape back to their table while we ate and I people-watched/eavesdropped. Apparently the two ladies who dined next to us met while hiking the Grand Canyon 20 years ago, and the table across from us was a father/son duo- the son was visiting for his father’s 84th birthday…cute!
After dinner and our shared creme brulee for dessert (I like the custard, Matt likes the crunchees), we headed back to the Airbnb for Netflix and bed…back to the trail tomorrow!!

Happiness is: an overall enjoyable zero day!

Our Airbnb:

Our Airbnb flatmate!

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