Day Eighty Four: 1608.7 – 1619.8km

At this point, I think we have to be honest: the Hiker Biker Gang is the vortex.

It’s only Nemo and I right here, and yesterday we picked up Jeremy – who officially goes by Ratatouille now. Most of HBG is dispersed ahead of us, and a couple are who knows how far behind, and yet, we’re finding we have the same issue as we did in Bishop and Muir Trail Ranch and Seldon Lake: we didn’t do what we thought we’d do. We didn’t do the miles. And we’ve come to the point where Nemo and I just admitted to ourselves: there is no ‘town’ vortex, or ‘lake’ vortex, or ‘rainy day’ vortex. We are the vortex.

I just retreated to my tent.

It’s set up fairly close to our campfire, and I can hear the boys chatting away about travel guitars and camp stoves.

“Campfire?”, you say? “You vortexed again? Seriously?”

Seriously.

Although it sounds better when I say we ‘renegotiated’ with ourselves.

I had no intention of getting up and ready when my alarm started buzzing at 6AM, I’m just going to put that out there to start with.

The boys seemed happy enough to play along, though.

Jeremy gave us lessons on how to cook THE BEST RICE I’VE EVER TASTED 🙌🏽 (He simply sautés up garlic and olive oil, then cooks the rice in the oil first. Water is last – super weird, but it works and it’s magic.) He also taught us how to sharpen knives out in the backcountry with a tiny little diamond stone (Dad, you’ve probably already got these at home – you’ll be proud to know I can use one and my knife can now shave the hair off my arm).

Apart from learning new tricks, another big moment we had was passing ONE THOUSAND FLIPPING MILES.

My feet don’t feel like I’ve walked so far… But my socks know it. I’ve gone through a few pairs already. And seem to have each go longer and further than the pair before.

Only seventeen miles from town, obviously that was our goal today: to get to the road, camp, and hitch in first thing. As I said earlier, though, we’re a walking vortex.

We did ‘squeeze’ in seven miles…

But there’s a ten mile stretch from here to the road without water. I know. I thought we’d left the desert?! What the heck, Sierras??

Soooo our renegotiation was this: we’ll set up shop here, have a semi-decent sleep, and then leave at 5AM.

I have PROMISED the boys I’ll get up and be ready.

Part of me is not sure, but they’ll keep me accountable.

We’ll do our ten, hitch in, resupply/post office/town food lunch, and then hitch out.

No more vortexing.

I wonder how many times I will have said that by the end of the trip…

🤔

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