Thursday, June 23, 2016

Day 54 : To Mammoth Lakes

6 miles today
1743 miles to go

Restless night. Anticipating Mammoth Lakes and the accessibility of food. Cold morning, I don't want to get up. Oh yeah, Mammoth Lakes! Now I'm moving. Kenyan and Guran pass by my camp on their way to Reds Meadow, the place you can catch a shuttle to Mammoth Lakes. I met them yesterday on Silver Pass and haven't seen them since. I hurriedly finish breakfast and pack up. Wow, it's cold. My thumbs are so cold they hurt. I finally just carry my trekking poles in one hand while my hands are tucked into the sleeves of my windbreaker. The sky is clear and the waning moon is still visible in the western sky. The trail is clear of rocks and roots. The geology of the area near Mammoth is distinctly different than the Mountains south and north of here. Not so much granite, much more volcanic looking. More similar to the geology around Lassen far to the north. Beautiful country large trees spaced far apart, sandy, friendly soil. Clear streams coursing their way through the soil. Water bursting out of springs in the hillside and creating instant creeks where there is nothing above to indicate a creek would be. 

Kenyan and Guran are brothers, twins, with the same gear and same Aussie accent. I met up with them when they stopped to adjust gear or something. We walk together for a while on the trail until they need to stop for something else, I keep walking. I get to Reds Meadow with about a twenty minute wait until the shuttle arrives. The sun is up and warm. I go into to store and buy a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino from the refrigerated case and then sit outside in the sunshine sipping it slowly. 

The shuttle arrives and clean, rested hikers disgorge themselves. Braveheart is one of them. I walk over chat. She's heading out on the JMT to Yosemite Valley. Then she'll shuttle back to Tuolumne Meadows and continue on the PCT. We catch up on a few other details of our trips until it's time to load the bus. I climb aboard with eight other wild eyed starving Thru-hikers looking forward to eating. Most of them are Australian. On the bus I make a reservation at a hotel in Mammoth Lakes. No hostel for me, it's just not my thing. I arrive before check-in time so I have them store my pack behind the front desk. I walk down the street to Schat's bakery. Their sign is looking a bit tattered and worn. The sandwich I got was just as amazing as before. As I was leaving, Kenyan and Guran show up and decide to buy something baked. So I stand in line with them and get a glazed cinnamon twist. Like a cinnamon roll but twisted instead of circular. We laugh and joke a bit, one of them picks up a giant tub of Nutella as if he's going to buy it. They both have their matching gear including their packs. They really are a lot of fun. They head out tomorrow and I don't so I'll have to catch up to them if I want to spend more time with them.

I return to my hotel and my room is ready, three hours early! Yay! I look at my list of stuff to do in town and decide that food is pretty high on the list. The trolley busses are free and stop in front of my hotel, they also stop in front of Von's. Using my list I get my resupply food for the next few days to Tuolumne Meadows. I think I might be buying too much. It's hard to buy for just two days. I also buy stuff to eat while I'm here, a tub of Butterfinger ice cream, a box of fresh blueberries, a large bowl of fresh sliced pineapple, and some sour cream and onion chips.

My room has a refrigerator and freezer that work, so I stuff my fresh food and ice cream in there. Then I walk to the highly rated pizza place and buy a small pizza to go for my dinner. It was so loud in the restaurant while I waited that I was glad I got my pizza to go. I am no longer used to the ruckus and noise that people make in a restaurant. I prefer the silence and serenity of the forest. So I had back to my room where my fan makes the white noise that substitutes for falling water. I eat, I rest, I sort and toss my trash. Tomorrow starts my zero.

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