Started: 09:00 @ MM 901.1 Deer Creek Crossing (Elevation 9,108ft)
Finished: 17:25 @ MM 906.6 Reds Meadow (Elevation 7,718ft)
Elevation Gain/Loss: +213/-1,609ft
Food: Oatmeal, Belvita, Ice Cream, Carl Jr – (SuperSize)!
Health & Hygiene: 0 Blisters, Days since last shower 3, Days since laundry 3
It had been some time since I’d woken up with that delicious “going to town today” feeling … I’d missed it! Reds Meadow was an easy 6 miles down the trail and from there it was a bus ride away from the up market ski resort of Mammoth Lakes. Amazingly, the resort was still open for skiers … a testament to the amount of snow that has fallen in the Sierras this year. I felt as though I’d walked through all of it!
Butterfly, Turbo and I opted for the relaxed start. Spreadsheet made a super early start, inspired by the promise of a big cooked breakfast and Internet connection at the Reds Meadow restaurant. I was really looking forward to and in need of a proper zero, a day of doing absolutely nothing. A true zero is an elusive thing. Once in town it is easy to become overwhelmed by all the fun and exciting things to do, eat and drink. Inevitably I end up walking all over town and not getting any of the rest my mind and body so desperately needs. This time I was determined to really “veg” out … I had to, I was both physically and mentally shattered!We reached town at around noon. Deluxe had once again been sucked into the vortex and was on his third night at the Travelodge. He was happy to let me share his room, just as well because there was hardly an empty bed in the whole town. I spent the rest of the day rushing between the post office, the grocery store and the hotel, frantically trying to arrange my resupply for both the next section through Yosemite and the rest of Northern California. Such are the additional challenges for an overseas thru-hiker! Finally, by almost 11pm my food was all boxed up and my laundry all taken care of. I fell into bed and slept like a baby.The next morning I took my boxes off to the Post Office. It required multiple trips because I could only carry two at a time. I met up with Butterfly and crew at Schat’s Bakery for lunch. They were heading back to the trail, but I needed to rest and recuperate. The Sierras had been a real ordeal. I managed to find myself a single room at the Motel 6. Armed with junk food and gallons of soda, I checked in just after lunch and spent the rest of the stay slumped on the bed, watching cheesy movies and stuffing my face with popcorn, chocolate and Gummi-Bears … It was absolutely heavenly!