15-16 May 2021
Zero in Bishop
No PCT Miles Hiked!
Last night I arrived at the Hostel California tired and hungry. I quickly showered, put on my rain jacket and wind pants so I could do laundry, and grabbed a burrito across the street from the laundromat where I waited for my clothes to wash and then dry. Efficient!
The Hostel is a lovely bright rambling pair of buildings with plenty of space inside and out to hang. I was hoping to find some hikers I recognized. But all of them were new to me.
I felt homesick again.
I went up to my room where I called Half Cookie. I told her I really liked Button, Lone Wolf, and the group I was hiking with a few days ago, but I am now so far ahead of them on trail that I would need to wait in Bishop for nearly a week before they caught up.
On the other hand, the idea of doing the next 120 miles from here to Mammoth by myself or with people I happen to meet on trail sounded very hard. I am becoming more and more certain that the main thing that will end my hike is loneliness.
But I was tired. Fifty Sierra miles in two days will do that! And I know from past experiences that when I wear myself out, my mood darkens and I want to quit.
Sure enough, I slept great and felt better in the morning. I thought all I really needed was to meet some new people I could camp with through this next section and all would be good.
With a fresh face on the new day I went to Vons to get groceries for my stay at the hostel (they have a great kitchen here!). And when I returned I found Ground Score and Berk, two hikers I met all the way back on Day 4! I didn’t know them well, but I got such a nice feeling from my conversation with them that I always hoped I would catch up to them.
And today was that day!
Their group originally wanted to leave on Sunday, but a storm is coming in, so they have decided to leave after it passes on Monday. And I will too. Yay!
And that means two days in a row without hiking. A double zero!
I celebrated by using the kitchen to make salmon and roasted vegetables. Yum! It was really nice to cook for the first time in a month or so.
Given the low snow this year and my experience on Forester Pass, I decided to mail my ice axe and pants home. No glissading for JimmyJam this year! 🙁
In the afternoon I blogged and then for dinner I grabbed a burrito and some beer from the Mountain Rambler Brewery.
I ate with Berk and Ground Score who made salad and salmon, and their hiking buddies Bloodbeard, Mac, and Reese who made breakfast for dinner!
Afterward, we hung out for several hours, and I learned more about their aborted PCT hike from last year, and their aspirations to find a place to live after the PCT where Berk can study herbal medicine and Ground Score can continue working on high-end bicycles. It seems like they have a really happy life.
The next day I went back to Vons to resupply for the section to Mammoth. We plan to do the 120 miles in about 6 days, which sounds just about perfect to me!
I also realized this next section is going to have temperatures below 20 at night, so I bought an extra base layer for my legs.
For today’s lunch I turned yesterday’s lunch into a scramble.
And then I FaceTimed with Half Cookie, Pasta Jay, and Double Sub who is visiting home from Davis. It was really great to see them all together. 😊
For dinner, we had tacos and ice cream. Yum! Thanks guys!
Then I had another call with Half Cookie and now I’m ready to get back on trail! if things go according to plan, we’ll be in Mammoth on Saturday.
Zeroing at the Hostel California
With shared food and tales from trail