CDT Day 8: East Glacier to somewhere else – Brownie’s Hostel to Shhhh Secret Camp
Miles hiked: 5.5
Total miles: 117.4
Zeros almost taken: 1
Ounces dropped from baseweight: 29
Pounds added in food weight: too many
As far as town days go, this was a good one. It started with too little time to do too many things, but ended up being a chill day. So chill, in fact, that it was dangerously close to turning into a zero day*. But not this time, just a nero**. I stayed up late writing this blog from the comfort of my hostel bed (you’re welcome :)), then woke up too early with the sun. Not a ton of sleep, but I was wide awake knowing that I had much to do and not much time to do it if Spice and I were going to get back on trail at 1pm like we planned. I did yet more blogging from my bed before hunger forced me to emerge from the dark dorm to scrounge breakfast.
The hostel, also a bakery, smelled amazing, sharpening my hunger further. I ate the can of tomato soup I had bought yesterday and spooned peanut butter from a half-full jar I found in the hiker box***. I listened to other hikers lament about the difficulties of using Tinder from trail, which didn’t surprise me one bit and made me smile. I hung around the hostel using their overloaded wifi to do chores before Spice and I packed up to take care of business (TCOB) in town.
We finished resupplying then visited the post office to ship home the snow gear that we never needed. Ice axe and microspikes gone. 2lbs off my back! Our boxing job was of dubious quality, but the friendly post master accepted it without question. With the important chores done, we wandered to the diner again for a fill-up. We got wise and ordered a triple decker pb&j this time around. We’re adults after all.
By this time it was 1:30pm, well past our exit time, but we still had internet things to do, so instead of leaving town, we returned to our favorite comfy couch at the Glacier Lodge. There is great wifi there. It rained off and on for hours as I finished uploading and things. I was so so so happy to be where I was rather than outside in that rain, but as evening approached, I started feeling a little bit weak-sauce**** for not getting back out there. Hikers flowed by, one named Booboo showing up several times.
Eventually Spice and I ran out of things to do. This led to us joking about hiking out despite the lateness of the hour. The joke became less of a joke until we really decided to go for it at 6:30pm. The blue sky and shining sun left us no more excuses. We would go buy a pizza (without cheese) and some last minute items then walk on out of town, finally.
At 7:30pm, bellies warm with pizza and coffee, we found our way back to the trail having come dangerously close to taking our first zero day of the trail. On the PCT, I had admired hikers who hiked out of town late in the evening, thinking it cool that they were so strongly committed to hiking the most miles possible even on a town day. Now I was one of those hikers. It felt cool. Giddy with caffeine, jokes were plentiful as we left to start the next chapter.
The trail was overgrown and sloppy with the fresh rainfall, so it was slippery going. I was soaked from the waist down and very cold by the time we found camp by headlamp just after dark. We got lucky and stumbled upon an old trail crew camp, complete with bear hang poles. A secret place.
130 miles left to the next resupply. My legs feel great after the break, but man, I bought way too much food. My backpack is totally full and weighty. Hope that hiker hunger really kicks in…
*Zero Day(n): a day, usually in town, when zero trail miles are hiked and many calories are consumed. Numerous chores mean they are never as restful as hoped. synonyms: rest day, not really a rest day.
**Nero(n): a noun combination of ‘near’ and ‘zero’. Not quite a zero day, but not a full day of hiking either. Usually overlaps with a stop in town to resupply. Often used as an excuse to not hike hard on a stomach full of burrito. Personal definitions vary, but I consider a day with less than 10 miles hiked to be a nero.
***Hiker Box(n): A pile, or box, of garbage that hikers get excited over. Contents usually include excess food, often times mysterious, and unwanted gear, often times stinky and used up. A great place to pick up a half jar of peanut butter, shoes with holes in them, and miscellaneous toiletries.
****Weak-sauce(adj): Lame. Generally, one wants to be strong-sauce, though this term is never used if one is truly strong-sauce.