Around 4am it got really cold. It was below freezing. I was a bit sheltered by the teepee but it’s so vast it didn’t exactly keep me warm. I buried my face in my sleeping bag, fought the feeling of suffocation and tried to pretend my feet weren’t ice cold.
I stayed in my bag until the sun came up and then was forced out by needing the toilet. On my way back Scott, the store owner called over to me to ‘come inside and keep warm’. He had the wood burner on in the store and I had a seat next to it. I had a hot chocolate and a muffin for breakfast. He offered me use of the inside shower. Normally in peak hiker season there are two outside showers for use, but because of the below freezing temperatures he has had to drain all the water to protect the pipes. I was going to pass up the shower because it was outside but southbounders get special privileges, including using the indoor toilet instead of the port-a-loos.
I had my shower and felt much better for it. I could now feel my toes. I was chatting for a while with Scott, something you can’t do as a nobo because there are too many people. I was stood next to the wood burner but suddenly felt faint again, I took a seat by the front door to cool down before I fell down. Then through the window I see a hiker…it’s walking mantis!! I haven’t seen him since back in Oregon!
We sit outside and order burgers. 11:30am is practically lunchtime. Then, another hiker walks in, it’s Decaf!! He has had gihardia and has been in hospital in lone pine! Then I see Strings!! I haven’t seen him since cascade locks. He skipped some of the Sierra and went to a music festival.
A trail family!! We all catch up and talk about people we have met along the trail. We take the piss out of America and their lack of biscuits, the take the piss out of me for my dislike of Will Ferrell and my lack of comedy film knowledge. Strings imparts his knowledge of psychedelic rock bands. We discuss U.K. and American politics and decide we should forget about America independence and form USUK (pronounced u-suk)
Before the eatery closes up I order my second double cheeseburger of the day. I have eaten well since I’ve been here!! I get an ice cream sandwich for desert and am totally dismayed to find the others coming out with tubs of Ben and Jerrys! I’ve made friends with Scott though because he gave me a bunch of hallowe’en candy.
When the sun goes down we retreat to the teepee and build a fire (well, Decaf builds a fire in much less time than it took me yesterday!). And Strings plays his guitar.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps.