Miles today: 0
Total miles: 1959
We were awake at 8:00 and happily lounging for a few hours in our exotically large hotel-condo when we suddenly realized that if we wanted to stay the day, we would need to rebook the room. While Sunshine whipped up a batch of French toast, Treekiller wandered to the office to buy another night. He returned looking disgruntled.
"I have bad news," he said. "First, this room is already booked for tonight, so we can't stay another day. Second, checkout is at eleven."
Sunshine and I shot quick looks to the clock. 10:35 am.
"Shit," we grumbled. We had twenty five minutes to wolf down a plate of French toast, clean up, and vacate.
A quick note for those of you who are unfamiliar with thru-hikers: despite the fact that we spend every single day on trail unpacking and packing up our entire life in a small 50 liter backpack (usually accomplishing this task in record time every morning to get on trail faster), something in the matrix breaks down when we get to town. A tidy, well packed backpack suddenly becomes an exploded mess in the hotel room. There is laundry everywhere. Tents strung out to dry. Resupply food and food packaging in every nook and cranny. Dirty shoes and socks lined up outside the door. Sleeping bags draped over chairs. Chocolate milk and fast food containers littering the bedside tables. And when you cram four to six thru-hikers in one hotel room, the mess is astronomical. It's hard not to laugh when you step back and look at the chaos: how is it we can fit all of this stuff on our backs, but when we unpack it, it looks like twenty years worth of yard sales?
So, back to our hotel-condo. We were just realizing that we had twenty five minutes to clean up, and in the short time we had been living there, we had already taken over every single one of the rooms with our dirty gear and clothes, including an entire kitchen full of leftover bean dip, nachos, ice cream, oreos and French toast. We jumped into cleaning overdrive. I don't remember the exact details, but I do remember that some sort of miracle occurred that morning. Because in exactly twenty five minutes we somehow managed to package up all the leftovers, gather up all our gear and clothing, repack our packs, take showers (all three of us), drive Scooter to work so that we could have the car for the day, and add a half-finished romance novel to our gear for on trail entertainment.
Now we were homeless, but at least we had a car. And you know what's entertaining? Three thru-hikers trying to remember how to drive stick.
"WHY IS EVERYONE GOING SO FAST?!" Sunshine shrieked.
After giving Treekiller the wheel, we took a short road trip to the nearby town of Sisters to pick up a resupply box, and then we drove to downtown Bend to kill some time by seeing the movie World's End. Scooter invited us to her house once she was off work and offered to let us stay the night with her, despite that she and Boulder rented a small basement room of her landlady's home. The house was beautiful, though, filled with fresh lavender and herbs and smelling like newly cut grass and rain. We hung out with Scooter until her second job at a local brewery started, and then Treekiller, Sunshine and I wandered downtown Bend, walking by the river and visiting local pubs. We were quickly falling in love with the town, and even though we knew we should get back on trail tomorrow, it was hard to dismiss how lovely a second zero day would be. Besides, Wocka, Giddyup, Sneaks, Mudd, Dingo and Katie would all be in town tomorrow and we wanted to see them before we got back on trail.
We bantered back and forth about it for some time, and ultimately decided that we would "decide" tomorrow, which meant another zero in Bend!