Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Zero Day: I Earned It This Time!

Among other things, I needed to replace my shoes.
June 30: Before I even got into Mammoth Lakes, I had decided that I wanted to take a zero day. For the first time on the trail, I felt like I earned a zero day. The High Sierras tore me up, physically and mentally. When I limped into town, my shoes were falling off, my trekking pole was broken, my sunglasses were being held together with duct tape, my pants were ripped to shreds, one of my gloves was missing (and the other had holes in each of the fingertips that were growing increasingly large), and basically, I was in bad shape. My legs were scratched up and bruised from all the postholing I'd done, and bumps marked countless successful mosquito attacks. I was exhausted from the snow, mentally and physically. For the first time, I wanted a zero day for absolutely no other reason than that I had earned it. I deserved it.

And by golly, if that gave the snow another day to melt before I had to go back to it, even better. =)

On my way to the movie theater the day before, I discovered the location of a thrift shop and decided to take a gander, nabbing myself a ski pole for $1. One buck! I was giddy with the find. It wasn't a trekking pole, but a ski pole was close enough in my book, and just one buck! I also bought a couple of thin paperback books for one dollar each. (War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells and Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.)

I checked a few different places for shoes, growing increasingly despondent that there was nothing in the whole friggin' city that sold a pair of shoes for less than $100. I finally found a pair that I liked for a mere $60 (and they gave me a "thru-hiker discount of 10% on top of that) and took them. Those were probably the most expensive shoes I've ever bought, but it was still a full hundred dollars less than the cheapest shoes I could find at the first outfitters I went to.

A free trolley allowed us to get around town easily.
That was the last of the major resupplying that I needed to do. I went to Vons to buy food and such--the usual resupply needs--but the rest of the day I had free to do whatever. I found a mini-golf course that I thought would be fun to do and even had a coupon for it, but I seemed to have a difficult time finding any thru-hikers wandering around who'd like to go with me. Mini-golf is fun. Mini-golf by yourself.... not so much. So I skipped that and ended up spending most of the afternoon reading War of the Worlds, finishing fairly late in the night. It's a classic and a quick read, and by finishing it in town, I didn't have to carry it on the trail. I left it in the hiker box at the motel. Perhaps another hiker would enjoy the book as well.

And that was my zero day. A little bit of resupplying, but mostly laying around taking it easy and reading. =)


Anonymous said...

From reading of your Florida adventures I thought that your shoe requirements were rather simple. Couldn't you have someone mail you some shoes? There is a Payless store right on my commute to work!

Have a good trip! You did deserve that zero in Mammouth Lakes!

PI Joe
Austin, TX

Sue KuKu said...

I love "Murder on the Orient Express". What a classic! I have read it more than once.

If you want reading material, just let us know.

There are always free paperbacks at the library and cheap ones at the used paperback store nearby.

I could mail you one for a drop -- whatever you want. There are always tons of Harlequin Romances but I promise I would not send you one of those!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Thrift stores rock!
I'm surprised you'd find one in a tourist town like Mammoth Lakes, though. You got a good bargain on that ski pole. I'm also amazed that places offer hiker discounts. That's great!

I think I've figured out why many people never head out and do hiking, especially thru-hiking.....because it costs a lot of money having to buy new gear and replace worn out gear. Not to mention transportation and food costs and lodging when in towns.

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers