Today we are taking a full zero, which means we are enjoying Idyllwild rather than the trail. We hope the break will give Bri the energy to push on towards Big Bear City. In the mean time I thought I would describe a typical day on the trail, with the hope I can avoid repeating these tidbits everyday. By now we are seeing a pattern. It goes something like this.
Wake to the morning sun, in a cold and slightly damp sleeping bag. It is time to get up, but it is so cold. It really is time to get up. Get up! Isn’t it amazing that being in bed for well over 10 hours is not enough.
Fire up the tiny stove to make instant Via coffee, which tastes surprisingly good with Pop-Tart crumbs. Pick five random snacks to enjoy on the trail: Cliff bar, Peanut M&Ms, Kind bar, peanuts, cheese crackers, corn nuts, or if you are lucky a Snickers bar.
Pack everything you possess in your pack. Yes it will fit, you had it in there yesterday. How is this stuff expanding? It must be the dirt. Check your maps and PCT apps for the next potential water. Okay, now start walking. Every few hours stop for a quick break and a snack. Will it be the Snickers? No, save that one for later. Now get back up and keep walking. Where should we camp? Can we get in a few more miles? No? I guess this is it then.
Once you stop, rip open your pack and put on all your warm clothes. This really just means all your clothes. Put out your Tyvek tarp and inflate your insulation pad with the awesome Instaflator you found on the internet for pool toys.
Quick make dinner, which may be Pasta Sides, instant mash potatoes, Indian curry and instant rice, instant stuffing with instant gravy, or maybe just globs of sun butter spread on flour tortillas. The sky is the limit. Well that plus what you still have left in your bag. Now clean up. This actually means put more water in your dirty pans, slosh it around and drink it. I like to think of this as my final course of the day, very weak mystery soup.
Now settle down, make notes on the day and sleep. Then, as it says on the shampoo bottle: rinse and repeat. Oh, except in the desert, you are gonna have to skip the rinse.