Day 3: Zero Day in Mammoth Lakes

Being forced to speed up our schedule really took a toll on Brian and me. We spent the early part of our morning in the tent assessing our overall condition and trying to find potential solutions. We pushed too hard and now we aren’t in any condition to carry on. We need a day of rest to recover and we need to buy us some time in our itenerary since we are going to lose a day of hiking.

This is a great lesson for any of you hoping to long distance hike. Sadly this is a lesson Brian and I have both learned before but yesterday we didn’t have much choice. Never push too hard. Your body can only walk so far in one day. If you hike beyond that, you’re just borrowing your reserve for the next day. We only pushed ourselves by four extra miles and now we’re going to lose a whole day because of it.

Brian told Stephen we think we should get seperate permits this morning. Stephen said ok and we continued to quietly pack our things. Once Stephen had a chance to talk to Rachel he came back over to us and explained that they wanted to come on this trip because they wanted to do it with us. He said that Rachel also had a very hard day and reminded us that she’s never done anything like this before. He said they would stay with us to the halfway point and then reassess the situation. I told him that it’s putting a ton of pressure on me and I can’t have another day like yesterday where we push ourselves to meet at an agreed location. Stephen insisted that they want to walk with us at our pace. I didn’t mention that we were planning to take a day off and jump ahead tomorrow. So we left the conversation stand as is.

We all walked to a little restaurant and ordered breakfast. As we ate we had a very honest conversation about how we were all feeling about our trip. It was not the most comfortable conversation but Everyone listened and was polite. Stephen admitted that it must be very difficult for us to suddenly change our itenerary to accommodate their shorter schedule. We told them we planned to zero today in another town and start again tomorrow fresh. To my surprise, they said it was a great plan and they wanted to join us. Once we all came to an agreement, things relaxed quite a bit.

We grabbed our resupplies from the post office and set out to hitchhike. We agreed that we would only accept a ride if they were willing to take all of us together which would seriously limit the number of cars that would have enough room for all of us and our gear. It was much more fun today than it was yesterday because I wasn’t feeling as desperate. If we couldn’t get a hitch, a bus would be coming by later in the afternoon. We all joked about the best way to get a ride. I told Rachel, “you’re the cutest. Take your top off.” “That’s not the kind of ride we want Theresa!” Brian lifted his kilt a few times and watched people laugh as they drove by. All four of us stood there with our thumbs out for only five minutes before a truck stopped! It was a nice young married couple from Akron, Ohio named Max and Rachel. They were taking a road trip and Max has hitchhiked all over the country so he was looking to give back. They had to move all their gear from the back seat to the bed of the truck. They spent five minutes just to make room for us. They were the sweetest couple. We all talked as they drove us to a gas station in Lee Vining. They even stopped at a scenic turnout and took pictures of the four of us. When they dropped us off, I thanked them for making my first hitchhike an enjoyable and memorable experience. Max joked, “thanks for not killing us.”

When we arrived at the gas station we were thrilled to find they had nice picnic tables in the shade and power outlets!!! We threw our stuff down, bought some goodies, called home, played around on our phones and joked around while we listened to Bob Marley. Brian called ahead to Mammoth Lakes to see if we could find a hotel. He takes care of everyone around him. While the here of us goofed off, he planned the rest of our day off, finding shuttles, making reservations and figuring out how to get us back on trail tomorrow.

I’m posting this a bit early in the day since my last post was so horrible. Just want you all to know we are ok, we are regrouping, we are working well together as a team, and we are heading out again tomorrow.

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