Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Day 67: The Salida Zero

June 26: I didn't plan to take a zero day, but when I saw the weather forecast called for "rain throughout the day," a zero day sounded especially appealing. I checked in with the front desk to inquire about extending the stay in the room by a day. It wasn't particularly cheap, but I'd pay extra if it meant I didn't have to hike in "rain throughout the day." The clerk working the desk was from Poland as well, so I got to try out a little Polish on her. She didn't seem particularly amused at my skills, though. Most Polish people I meet are shocked and delighted that I've been trying to learn their language.

Amanda took off, ready to head back to work, and left at 5:00 in the morning. Unfortunately for me, she took my laptop with her. It's not like I could carry that giant thing with me on the trail. My smaller laptop which I mail from town to town was already on its way to Leadville. Had I realized yesterday when I forwarded the package that I'd be taking a zero day today, I would have kept it and done some work, then mailed it out later this afternoon.

So once again, I was stuck in town without a laptop, but I could watch videos and surf the web with my phone--so at least I had that. And I spent most of the day just playing with my phone.

Late in the morning, I got a text from Pez saying that he had arrived in town, and when he texted again later saying that he was at the Walmart resupplying, I walked over to meet up with him for a bit. It was the first time we had seen each other since way back in Grants! He'd been far ahead of me almost the entire time, but I got a day ahead of him when I took the Creede Cut-off and he did not. 

I still kept in touch with Evenstar as well who expected to arrive into Salida tomorrow. She hoped we'd cross paths in town, but I wanted to get an early start to the day's hike tomorrow. Rain wasn't expected in the morning, but the afternoon was supposed to have rain and thunder. I hoped to complete the bulk of the day's hike before that happened which meant an early start. But Evenstar wasn't far behind me and I wasn't planning to rush down the trail so I still hoped she'd catch up soon.

At the Walmart, I ran into all sorts of other hikers! Most of them I knew in varying degrees including Sweet Tooth, Bugs, Outlaw, Cramps and Blitz. Others I didn't know at all (whose names I won't mention here because I don't remember them anymore).

Pez seemed most impressed with my beard and the hair on my head. "You were bald!" he accused me. "I barely recognize you!" I don't know why he was so surprised, though. I mentioned way back when we met on our first days on the trail together that I had shaved my head bald. 

His whiskers didn't grow in as thickly as mine, but they were definitely there as well. =)

Afterward, I started walking back to the motel to call it a day, but I only made it about half way when a pickup truck piled with thru-hikers pulled over and offered me a ride. They had offered me a ride from the Walmart but I turned them down. This was my one and only time to get out and stretch my legs for the day! But it was, admittedly, a pretty miserable road walk back to the motel and I caved in this time when they offered the ride. They had borrowed a pickup truck from the hostel they were staying, and on a rainy day like this, that's a valuable service indeed!

And the rest of the day I just watched videos on my phone again. All-in-all, kind of a boring day. BUT! I didn't have to hike in the rain which did look bad much of the day and I'm sure was even worse high up on Monarch Pass. =)

The pictures today are just random photos from other days on the trail because I took absolutely zero photos today! =)


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