Day Forty One: ZERO

I hate that a ‘zero day’ is called a zero day. Generally, I spend so much of it running errands, resupplying food and trying to catch up on sleep I feel more tired than when I just have to walk twenty miles.

Which is how today went.

I woke up feeling refreshed and alive. Heading to the quiet hotel lobby for a coffee and couch to snuggle into, the tranquil atmosphere there was almost foreign to me, but so welcome. Even just sitting in clean clothes with washed hair feels like I’m spoiling myself, so it was extra lovely. I journaled and read my Bible, before the others emerged and we did a number on the buffet hot breakfast.

With Tehachapi being a major stop along the Pacific Crest Trail, their motels are used to dirty hikers streaming in between April-July. I spoke to Brianna, the receptionist, for a while, and she agreed that it’s still entertaining watching the faces of business people and tourists as they see us walk through the halls. On first glance (and second…) most people would assume we’re homeless. And technically, they’re not wrong. So having those assumptions sprawled out across a nice hotel lobby plays with their stereotypes. I have to admit, I did enjoy the few side glances I caught.

To get into town, you can either get off trail at the first road crossing or hike an extra eight miles. The catch is, this is the beginning of a 40km dry stretch – so it’s in your best interest to do the eight miles first.

There was no way I was going to do that yesterday. M&D did push on through them a few days ago, when I was on my way over from Hikertown. Now, they were catching a bus out to start up again, and Maya – being the good thinker she is – had suggested they hide a gallon of water for us to save some weight on the dry stretch. There were a few jealous looks as I penned ‘WIZARD’S CACHE. PLEASE DON’T DRINK!’ on the side of the jug, until the Swiss offered to hide water for whoever else needed it. A few hands shot up.

From here, our packs are loaded down with seven days’ worth of food. Which is heavy. Add carrying water for half a dozen people onto that bus: those two are machines.

I had another nap before checkout, and we set off to get our supplies for a weeks’ worth of food.

It’s a lot.

Thibaud is one of those guys who counts all the calories and makes sure they count. It was good to shop with him and learn what to look for and consider with food choices. Apparently, a general rule of thumb is to try and keep calories above 300 per 100g, but without the sugar. I went with two packets of fun sized Snickers anyway along with my resupply.

Brianna was happy for us to spread out and organise our shopping/packs in the dining room. I should have taken a photo or something: seven days’ of food is a LOT.

I wanted to camp at the trailhead, so that I could set off at 4AM again. Hitching that early would be asking for trouble, and I wanted to beat the heat. We figured we’d get Burger King one last time, and hitch in from there. Which worked out well, when Felicia and Xander approached us and asked a few questions about thru hiking and our experience so far.

We ate our food with them, telling stories and watching Xander’s magic card tricks (the kid’s not bad!), and Felicia asked if we’d like a ride back out. Yes please! Thank you Jesus ❤️

Tomorrow is meant to be hot. We are in the desert, but these long, hot, dry sections are getting annoying. Early to bed tonight for me. Or early to mattress, as Thibaud says.

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