This is the first zero I've taken that I didn't feel guilty about. I am reading other people's blogs and am not in a rush to hit the gnarly snow in the Sierra. I feel like Josh and I are right on time, for once.
I wanted to take a cue from Josh and use this zero day to post some random thoughts and things I've learned so far.
Some things I've learned in SoCal:
1) It is possible for your nose to be dry and run at the same time. I can't explain it but it's true.
2) Poop first thing in the morning. Don't hike and wait for the perfect spot to appear. It won't. You'll have to teleport home to find the perfect spot. It's been pretty much the same terrain for 650 miles and it's not been easy pooping. Just do it early and be done with it.
3) Crying relieves the pressure. It's ok to cry. There may not be crying in baseball but there is in long distance hiking. At least for me.
4) Water without electrolytes is dead. Plain water goes in the Platy and electrolytes in the Smart Water bottle. Drink the electrolyte water with crystal light at breaks and be saved.
5) Condiments are worth the weight. Pack out a metric shit ton of condiments. Steal them from every fast food restaurant you come to. Even weird ones you don't think you'll like such as pickle relish, sweet and sour, horseradish, mayonnaise, hot sauce, etc, pack it out. It will make the difference between choking down a tuna packet and enjoying it. Remember when you were little and you would make experiments in the kitchen, like pb&j with ketchup or pickles with honey? (Maybe I'm the only one who did that). It's like that. It's fun to play with the combos and good for morale at the end of the day.
6) Baby wipes are important. Clean your ass, clean your feet, clean your face, clean your hands (not with the same wipe obviously, Ewwww). Baby wipes are what we use at the end of the day before putting on jim-jams and making dinner. It makes you feel quasi-human and keeps chafe and blisters at bay.
Things that confuse me:
1) Social interaction: I am never sure how to handle the in town social interactions between Josh and I and other hikers. For example: sharing hotel rooms. I fear we come across as snooty or antisocial when we decline to share a hotel room or hang out on our zero. I'm not quite sure how to explain, or if I even should explain, that going into town is like a conjugal visit. It's nice to rest and be the normal, naked, not smelly 'us' for a day. Maybe I'll just start telling people that. That'd get some laughs or weird looks for sure. (OMG, TMI, sorry mom. ;-)
2) Whenever I see other hikers on the trail I put on a happy (or stoic) face. I could be in the middle of a raging meltdown and someone will hike up and I'll suck it back and try to chit-chat. I don't know why but I feel like I'm not as good a hiker as everyone else so I need to always look like I've got it wired. I did let on that we were really low on food when we were at Walker Pass and some hikers asked why we didn't say anything, that they had food to share and that made me start to question myself. It seems I still have Ego that I'm working on smashing.
3) Who designed the trail? Some of the routes it takes are really retarded. Just sayin'. ;-)
These are the things I've pondered so far and now that we're heading into the big boy mountains I thought I'd release them to make room for more random thoughts. As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.
Until tomorrow, Goodnight!