Day 33 Giving in to the Zero

Miles: None!
Total: 566
Water: coconut milk; gatorade; tap water; beer; vitamin water

Such a sound sleep last night in a real bed, even if shared. We are all moving slowly this morning, though I want to get to the library in Tehachapi to attend to emails and other pressing real life things. 

I can’t decide what to do. Stay or go. Zero or get back on trail. My last night roommates are headed to the post office to mail resupplies, then back to the trail, right in the heat of the day. “You can write the report in your tent,” they suggest. I don’t want to lose friends again, but I need more internet time to contain academic things before heading into the Sierras where phone service is scarce at best. My brain is fuzzy with town food or PMS or just overwhelmed with decisions. 

There are more people needing the post office than seats in Jetta Blue’s car, so I hand off my small package, accumulated bits and pieces I am mailing home (PCT bandana, bear line and beaner; extra socks; a necklace; a full memory card), and take it as a sign. I will stay here at least for the afternoon, until my work meets minimum containment standards. 

I head upstairs to the room Shenanigan’s is sharing with Jennifer and crash on the bed. I halfheartedly write a project outcomes report while watching hoarders. So strange to see others struggle with houses overwhelmed with things, while obsessing over trimming ounces from my pack.

At some point, I listen to myself alone and hand Jennifer $20 to cover half the room cost, a decision to spend the night and take a full zero. Almost immediately, I am asleep on the bed, in a glorious and obviously much needed nap. 

I wake up hazy. And it’s not just me. Dark clouds have gathered unexpectedly above, rain pelts down and thunder too. Even more justification for staying put.  

 I add a few more words to my report,  before deciding to see if others want to walk to the store. SlumberKat and Maestro have just returned and offer me sandwiches and beer and company for watching the hockey game. The announcers speak the soundtrack of my Canadian childhood, a strange backdrop for a desert motel. They also have a MacBook Pro I am overjoyed to borrow, immensely speeding up my work. 

I will head alone out early in the morning, a 6am ride scheduled with the amazing Jetta Blue. There’s a possibility of catching friends. At the least, I hope to make new ones. This stretch is the heart of PCT water struggles. It’s looking like 40 something miles without any water sources the day after tomorrow. And with highs of 97 in the forecast. I add an extra liter bottle, bumping my water capacity to just over 6L (still less than most), though I am not sure I can actually carry that much in addition to a long food resupply. One way or the other, I am about to find out.


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