After four days in this cowboy town, having sampled every cafe, bakery and saloon, I almost feel like a resident. I’m on a first name basis with the folks at Elevation, the outdoor gear store, and the waitress at the Alabama Hills cafe has served me breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. She even gave us a free cinnamon bun because we polished off the four plates of food she put in front of us the first time we ate there.
The two full days of rest have been good on UB’s knee, so hopefully when we hit the trail this afternoon he’ll be able to walk without too much pain. He’s got a serious knee brace and a stock of Ibuprofen to get him through to Independence. We’ve also combined some of our food and gear to lighten both of our packs and take some of the weight off. I have sent both my ice axe and bear canister full of a few unnecessary items to Ladybug to pick up during her trip through Cascade Locks.
I’ve also consumed more food during this town stop than any other. My feet are in good shape at the moment and my pack is now an acceptable weight. I even spoke to Chris at ULA packs today and he’s going to send me a new smaller hip belt to Independence on the house, because one of the zips had broken. Thank you Chris, you’re a champion!
Both Wendy and Lion King arrived in town yesterday and we’ve bumped into a host of other hikers. Most have come off the trail at Kearsage Pass after Whitney and Forrester Pass so UB and I will be behind our usual pack and will soon get to know some of the new herd coming up.
I just polished off a bag of pecan squares that Wendy gave us and am drinking my first Red Bull of the trip. I’m actually feeling wiped out by the thought of transitioning back to the trail. It’s never easy, especially after this amount of time.
We’ve settled on spending $15 a person to get a ride back up to the trail. Joclyn from Elevation will drive us up at 2pm in just under an hour. Until then we’ll continue to gorge on whatever we can get our hands on and see if we can push to Chicken Spring Lake 9 trail miles ahead.