Mile 920 to 906
I wake in my ridge top shelter overlooking the valley and jagged peaks. I am a little over 13 miles from the Reds Meadow Resort and the $7 shuttle to Mammoth started running a few days ago. I get an early start and push hard. The elevations are relatively easy.
Before I started this thru-hike, I wondered what thoughts would fill my head for hour after hour, and day after day. What would I discover about myself? What revelations would I have? I was prepared to have occasional petty and ridiculous thoughts, but the quantity and persistence of them is surprising.
I understand there is a lot of research showing just how little our conscious mind controls our decisions. We apparently have a lot less free will than we think. Setting that aside, even my conscious thoughts are at war over decisions. The X part of my mind is constantly saying no. It is the control freak of my freaky mind. The Y part of my mind lacks any sense of self control and is constantly asking “why?” followed usually by “not.”
Y: Hey, I’m hungry, why don’t we eat the Snickers.
X: It’s not time. We have only 6 snacks to eat today. We have to spread them out.
Y: Great. Let’s spread the Snickers now.
X: We started hiking at 6:00am. We will eat the Snickers at 8:00am.
Y: It’s 7:53. Close enough.
X: We need to wait.
X: If you had your way, we would eat everything before 11:00. We need discipline.
Y: Remember yesterday? You forgot to look at the watch, and we didn’t eat the Snickers until 8:09am.
Y: We have a credit. In fact, with the credit we are 2 minutes behind.
X: It doesn’t work that way.
Y: What if we open the peanut M&Ms, and just eat the red ones now? We could eat the rest later. Our average would be 8:00 am.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste on my waist.
At Reds Meadow I buy a root beer and hop on the bus to Mammoth Resort, then a trolley to the town of Mammoth. BLT, Klutz and Mountain Goat are scrambling in Mammoth to resupply and get back to the trail. Given the time I arrive, the things I need to do and the bus schedule, that clearly does not work for me. I check into Motel 6 and figure when DC arrives he may want to share a room. Besides, it will allow me to watch the Warriors in game 6 of the NBA finals. I do laundry and plan for the 120 mile leg from Reds Meadow to Kearsarge Pass. Yes, that will take at lot more food then I usually carry.
DC arrives, agrees to share the room and we go out for a quick burger. I resupply at Von’s while DC dials for a dentist and does laundry. I think his laundry is more successful. The dentist search will have to continue tomorrow. By then, I expect to be on a bus back to the trailhead. I may see BLT, who is still in Mammoth, perhaps stealth camping.