April 26, 2017: Hiked Zero Miles
I was so excited for a chance to sleep in today, but of course, I woke up right at 6:00 on the dot. We’re taking our first ‘zero’ day. It’s just a name for a day off since you hike zero miles. Another term is a ‘nero’, for a day you hike near zero miles. Usually these are days when you hike into or out of a town.
We lounged around in our room and planned more in the morning. I was pretty antsy. On the trail our days are so busy either hiking, eating, or doing setup and takedown and other chores, that it felt weird to just lay around. We both are used to eating a small breakfast early in the morning, so by 10:00, I told Colton I needed food now. We walked about a mile down to Dennys and stuffed our faces.
I don’t think I have ever enjoyed Dennys as much, but anything other than trail food is good. I got a huge sausage, country potato, egg, tomato, spinach, onion, bell pepper scramble and Colton got french toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, and toast. And I got coffee. Of course. Guess I haven’t broke the addiction yet. We both left happy.
Colton’s aunt picked us up from our hotel when we got back and let us use her car for the day to run errands. I asked Colton if it felt weird to drive and he said it felt like the first time. Not exactly the thing you want to hear as a passenger. Our first stop was DICK’s sporting goods, which of course had nothing we needed. So we found a running shoe store, hoping to find some new shoes for Colton, but had no luck either. I did find a knee brace there, but they only had one in my size, so we had to drive out to their other store in Palm Springs, about 20 miles away, to get the other. Hopefully these work so I’m not having to tape my knees for the next five months. My first taping job was quite extravagant and someone tried to trail-name me Zebra. Definitely trying to avoid that.
We went to Wal-Mart to shop for groceries for the next nine days. This is always an arduous task. Everything looks so good, but food weighs a ton and we have to be very careful and precise with what we buy to make sure we have enough for every meal and to get us to our next resupply point, but are not carrying any extra food. This is kind of hard because we have to estimate how many miles we will walk per day and if we get tired and have shorter days, we’ll run out of food on the trail. But we don’t want to make the mistake we did in the beginning and bring extra food, and walk around like pack mules, killing our backs.
After we finished shopping, we grabbed a soda and Powerade to cool down and hold us over until dinner because of course we are starving all the time now, no matter what we eat. I chugged half my Powerade and my teeth instantly started hurting. It’s crazy how fast my body has adapted to not eating processed sugar. Colton offered me his soda to ease the pain and we both looked at each other and cracked up laughing. I looked at the sugar content of both the drinks and his was 70 grams while mine was 35. Starting to all make sense now.
We ran back to the hotel, threw our stuff on the bed and changed into our “nice” clothes for dinner. Obviously we don’t have nice clothes, but we made it work. We met Colton’s aunt, uncle, and cousin at the steakhouse in the casino for an amazing dinner. I ordered the fish of the day, which comes with mashed potatoes, which I then ironicaly realized upon getting my food, that this is basically the same food I eat on the trail (instant potatoes and tuna). Of course it tasted a million times better. Along with bread, salad, and a couple shared side dishes, we ate to our hearts delight. We all had a good laugh when Colton’s plate came out. My fish and everyone else’s steak were fairly small portions. Colton ordered the prime rib which came with a huge Yorkshire pudding that was about 10 times bigger that everything on one of our plates.
We had a great, relaxing, laughter-filled dinner. I felt right at home with Colton’ s family and it was so nice of them to do all they have for us in these past two days. We can never thank them enough.
After dinner we organized our mess of a room and took a bubble bath in our huge bath tub. Tomorrow it’s back out to the trail and I couldn’t be more excited. Having a day and a half off was amazing, but the trail already feels like home.