Mile 1195 To 1188
I try to sleep in, but of course cannot. The Red Moose restaurant does not open for breakfast until 7, which is like backpacker’s 10. I walk to the general store, which will not open until 11, to access their WiFi. Verizon is the only cell service and you have to stand in certain places, and perhaps make certain faces, to get it to work. The people are very hiker friendly, but their lifestyle is Mayberry RFD, and their technology may be from the same era. The guy we meet eating at the restaurant is the same guy who raises the town flag, runs the post office from 10 to 2 and repairs the public toilets. I know because I see him do all three.
The general store sells an odd variety of items, some backpacker friendly, some not. For example they have Snickers bars, but no Pop-Tarts. They have a massive quantity of Pasta Sides, but only one flavor. If you resupply for a week from here, you will have chicken flavored noodles every night. They do however have a grill, and make a one-pound burger rightly called the Gut Buster. They also make mean milkshakes of all flavors, so all is not lost.
We decide to nero here rather than zero. There are only cold showers, one working machine at the laundry and no way to get a decent variety of resupply food. Klutz and Mountain Goat want to explore Truckee, so we resupply for two days and hitch out of town. A very nice guy drives us the mile and a half to the trail. While driving the windy mountain road, mid-sentence he suddenly stops talking and stares. I fear he has narcolepsy and is about to die in his sleep. It would have been more fun if we were in the town fire truck, plus the first responders would already be here.
The hike out of town climbs quickly. We shoot for the top of the pass, which is just a little over 7 miles. On the way I meet MoBetter who is wearing mismatched Dirty Girl gaitors. I take a picture for Brian and check that off the scavenger hunt list. The funny part is she had been looking for me. She was told by someone way back in Big Bear that Rick had this on a scavenger list and that she needed to find me.
Dinner is quick and light. After Gut Busters we are not very hungry. I have crackers, peanut butter and a Baby Ruth.
While we are relaxing in our tents, a massive brown colored black bear crashes through our camp. Being on a high pass, we are on a bear highway. He seems not at all interested in us, our food, or our personal smell. After he goes, Klutz begins to imagine every sound as a bear. She calls me over to listen to growling, which I assure her is a bird, either an owl or a grouse. She seems relieved, but frankly I was disappointed. Repeated bear growling for no apparent reason is something I have not heard in the wilderness. I fear that as soon as I fall asleep and start snoring, she will call out for me to come listen.