June 10, 2022
This will be a short one. Town days are fun, but not necessarily as exciting to write about as trail days. Suffice it to say: Bishop is a great town, we ate a lot of food, went to so many gear stores, and stressfully packed up eight days of food in an attempt to make it in one go to Mammoth. If you want more details, read on! If not, feel free to skip.
Today we have the best lie-in of the entire trail. I think we start moving around 9:30, maybe later. We go to the bakery for breakfast, which is more satisfying and less chaotic than lunch was yesterday. We all order a pile of pastries and absolutely love it all.
While we’re there, my friend Zippy from the Appalachian Trail calls me. Turns out, she’s driving through Bishop on her way back to Reno! She comes to meet us at the bakery and we visit for a while. I haven’t seen her since Maine, and it is so, so good to be with an AT friend again! We catch up on what we’ve been doing since the trail, how the pandemic went for us, and how the PCT compares to the AT. She continues on her way after that, and we head down to the multiple gear stores.
At Sage to Summit, I get a new water filter, fuel, and some energy chews (and successfully talk myself out of getting some very nice new Brooks shorts). Then we check out the Mammoth Gear Exchange, which is an absolute wonderland of used and new gear. I find about ten things to try on, and the one I end up keeping is a running skort with a sort of bright pixelated pattern. I can’t believe how well it fits me, and it’s only $15. Fashion is an important part of thru-hiking, I’ll have you know.
I go into the bookstore Spellbinder while Jumbo and Catless go to the brewery. I talk myself out of buying books (my resupply will already be way too heavy), but I do get an adorable little pack of cards with different Sierra wildflowers on them. They have all my favorites: sky pilot, columbine, paintbrush, lupine. Then I go to meet the boys at the brewery for a Kolsh. Jumbo and I run to the post office to send some postcards and, in my case, a collection of things I don’t want to carry anymore. Farewell for now, birthday crowns and decorations! I’ll see you in three months.
Catless calls us and tells us to meet him at Eastside Sports because they have an impressive array of Tevas. My feet have apparently grown because they don’t fit in my knock-off crocs anymore, so I’ve been playing with the idea of new camp shoes. We all try them on and all decide to get some. Mine are a sort of light purple color with a pastel stripe pattern. I’m in love with them. Finally, camp and town shoes that I actually want to wear! Teva team!
We drop our stuff off at the hotel and then head to the Grocery Outlet followed by Vons for a resupply. It is… extremely expensive and very heavy. They’re out of couscous, so we all end up with too many mashed potatoes, especially Jumbo. We’re hoping to avoid stopping at Vermillion Valley Resort and instead go straight to Mammoth, but we’ll see how the food lasts.
On the way back to the hotel I FaceTime with my parents, then we repack everything. I have a huge pile that won’t fit in my bear can, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll have to eat a lot in the first few days until I can get it all in. When we pick up our packs, we’re all scared. It’s way too much weight for our ultralight packs. But we’ll have to make it work somehow.
While we’re packing, we get a pleasant surprise: Machine is back!! He gives us all huge hugs and we catch up on the trail since Tehachapi. Feather Blue, Jive Turkey, and Lost and Found are also there, a few rooms down. It’s great to see them again. They’re taking a few zeros, so it might be a while before we see them again.
While I write, Jumbo and Catless go to Taco Bell and get some food for dinner. When they get back, we lay in bed and eat while watching The Office. It is so relaxing.
I stay up too late writing and being on social media, but when I eventually get into bed, I savor the feeling of the mattress, knowing that it will be over a week until I can do this again.