CALIFORNIA - Zero day in Idyllwild!
Town days are fun but they never seem long enough. On the trail sometimes, the days can creep by, especially with my new schedule. Due to the heat of the desert, I usually walk the bulk of my miles in the morning to early afternoon, break for a few hours in the afternoon while the sun is straight overhead and then walk a few more hours in the early evening. On this schedule, one day tends to feel like two or three or four... The other oddity about the trail is that hikers usually lose track of what day of the week it is. When most everyday consists of walking, there's really no need to keep track. The only day that can throw a wrench into the mix is Sunday and that's because post offices are closed on Sunday. Thru-hikers are always picking up packages or shipping extra gear home so coming to town on a Sunday can mean having to wait around a whole day.
I spent the day just hanging around Idyllwild eating and browsing the local boutique shops. It's a really neat town, one of the coolest trail towns I've been to. The locals and shops have been very friendly to hikers which can really make a place feel more like home.
Zero days are really nice because it's a whole day devoted to catching up and resting any nagging injuries. Normally, when I get to a town, I mentally have a whole laundry list of town chores I race to get done so I can sit back and take advantage of the zero. Town chores include (not in any particular order) laundry, eat, trip to the post office, food resupply, shower, eat, wash dishes, eat, clean your water filter, eat, update the blog, download the latest podcasts, trip to the local outdoor outfitter, charge your devices, and eat.
When done efficiently, this can all be accomplished in a few hours. Realistically though, most of the hikers in town are all hanging out at the local outfitter so a short trip to get a new fuel canister can turn into a whole day hanging out there, browsing all the gear you want but don't need, and catching up with friends you haven't seen for days. The local outfitter is the hiker equivalently of the watering hole or office water cooler; it's where all hikers go to hangout and share trail gossip.
Some photos from around town:
Yoda, Airlock and I hiked together on the AT for awhile. Yoda is also doing the PCT this year and I just happened to catchup with her in Idyllwild! She has an awesome blog too, check it out at: hikingwithyoda.com
Town chores are all complete, time to head back to out tomorrow! Catch you out on the trail!