July 17, 2022
We wake up lateish, maybe around 7:30. I didn’t sleep well. It’s always hard to get decent rest in a new place, I find. We soon rally, though, because it’s breakfast time! First we make a pit stop at the laundromat to drop off our nasty clothes, then we walk across the street to the Blackberry Patch to meet 8 Bucks and Toothpaste for the most important meal of the day. I have two eggs over medium, four sausage links, two pancakes, and a side of sourdough toast. I eat it all. It is magisterial.
I really like 8 Bucks and Toothpaste. You know those people you meet who you just immediately bond with? It’s like an instant knowing that the vibe is good, that you’re on the same wavelength? That’s the case with these two. 8 Bucks—who got her trail name in South Lake Tahoe when a man saw her dirty and tired with her stuff strewn everywhere and handed her $8—is super sweet and interesting to talk to. She recently spent a few months living in Spain because she works remotely and she just wanted to be there. Toothpaste is from Leipzig, Germany, and he has a delightful deadpan humor and has lived in and traveled to some interesting places. (Honestly, I can’t remember the details of how he got his name, but I think it had to do with him thinking that he’d spilled toothpaste on his quilt when he really hadn’t. )
After breakfast, we return to the church and get our free iced coffee at the little coffee bar there. Jumbo chats with his family while Tribute talks with a guy behind the counter. I sit at table and write for a bit before going back to the hiker area and raiding the hiker box nail polish supply. This time it’s sparkly pink on the toes (I know, mom. I know.) and black on the fingers, except my right pinkie and left thumb are pink. Hahahah. I don’t know what the thing with nail polish is on this trail, but I am living for it.
I take a nap while Tribute goes to the store and Jumbo finishes his calls, then we walk over to the Safeway for resupply. It’s not that bad this time. I think my Safeway membership helps, but maybe I’m also dialing it in a little more every time now. After resupply we go on a quest wherein Jumbo attempts to find sunglasses that aren’t terrible. We are not successful. I try to go to McDonald’s just for an iced tea and a Sprite for Jumbo, and it takes half an hour before they call the number. It’s chaos in there.
Back at the church, I take a second shower and ponder how I’m feeling about going back on trail. I really don’t want to. I’m not emotionally ready to be hot and dusty again, and my stomach is also doing really concerning things. I decide that I’m going to stay, and I tell Jumbo and Tribute this and say that they can go ahead if they want to, but they readily agree to stay. Plus, Jumbo has a new sun hoodie being delivered and it might show up tomorrow, so he can go to the post office and see about that. It works out.
I talk to my best friend, Monica, for a little while outside the church, then I walk over to meet Jumbo and Tribute, followed by 8 Bucks and Toothpaste, at Gepetto’s Italian restaurant. It is an amazing time. We order multiple pitchers of beer and eat pizza until we’re stuffed. 8 Bucks tells us about her recent time in Spain, and we start talking about trails in other countries we want to do. This pair’s vibes are just so good. I’m really happy we’re hiking around them now and that we’ve had a chance to get to know them more. We don’t leave the restaurant until they kick us out at 9:30. It’s been hours! I can’t believe we sat here for that long.
We walk back to the church a little unsteadily, but we get there all the same. Ah, sweet zero days.