June 6, 2017
Last night was possibly the coldest night we’ve had on trail yet. When I woke up, there was a layer of condensation on my sleeping bag that had frozen into ice. The tub of dish water was also slushy with ice. We made a fire, and Ross made us an amazing breakfast of eggs, grilled tomatoes and onions, and avocado (and boerewors – South African sausage – for the others). It was soooooo good.
We had arranged for a ride to come pick us up at the campground at 9:30, and we all piled into the van with our gear. The drive down to Lone Pine we pretty crazy. We dropped down from the campground at 10,000 feet to the town at under 4000 feet, on an insanely windy mountain road. I think we were all definitely feeling a bit nauseous. I totally wasn’t expecting Lone Pine to be back down in the desert, but it’s hot down here. There is a crazy view of the Sierras (including Mt. Whitney) looming above the town.
We dropped Ross off at the Lone Pine airport where he had parked his plane, and then we got dropped off at the post office. I picked up my package with my bear can and a fleece, which I’m super excited to wear on the cold mountain nights. After we all had our packages, we wandered over to McDonald’s to sit and eat and use wifi. It’s insane how quickly you become ravenous out here. I finished my hash brown without even noticing, then wondered where it had gone.
Hiker trash taking over McDonald’s
We booked a room at the Dow Villa Motel, which had been a recommended to us by some other hikers. It’s really nice, for a really good price. Getting to shower and wear clean clothes felt amazing. Once we were all nice and clean, we went over to the grocery store to do our resupply, which was wildly disappointing. The store was small, and had been picked clean of most of the hiker essentials. The shelf were the tuna and ramen (two of my staple food groups on trail) should be was completely bare. I managed to scrape together what I thought was enough food, and dragged it back to the hotel. Stuffing it all into my bear can proved to be a challenge. Those things look massive, but hold a deceptively small amount of food. It also feels like it weighs about 30 pounds. Really not excited to hike out with that thing in my pack tomorrow.
We headed across the street to Pizza Factory for dinner, and it was freaking delicious. We overdid it with pizza in town during the first month on trail and burned ourselves out a bit, but the love is definitely back in full force. After dinner, we sat in the hotel lobby to use that good wifi and eat a tube of cookie dough. I’m missing my masters graduation ceremony on Thursday, so the cookie dough was our early celebration of that (in our traditional trail family method of celebration).
Tomorrow, we’re going out for what has been called one of the best breakfasts on trail, and then we’ll head back to start hiking. I’m super excited about this section, as Mount Whitney and Forester Pass (two of the most talked about points on trail) lie just a few days ahead. More from the trail tomorrow.