Today's miles: 3
Total miles: 1959
I woke up this morning with a tickle in my throat. I was nervous about getting sick, but I was thankful we were going into town today so I could get some meds before it got worse. We only had three miles to Elk Lake Resort, and we were there before 8:00 am. Our old trail friend Scooter (she and Boulder live in Bend since getting off trail in Yosemite) arrived at 9:00 to pick up Treekiller, Sunshine and I.
Our first order of business: buffet. As thru hikers we never have more than just one motivating factor when getting into town: FOOD FOOD FOOD. And a good old fashioned buffet was just the way to satisfy the craving. On our way to Izzy's Buffet we stopped by the cheapest hotel we could find and booked a room for the night. We had been talking for days about how delightful it would be to get a small cabin, or time share, or condo so that we could spend a zero cooking in a kitchen and rooming with a bunch of our friends, but this plan fell through. We were unable to find an affordable option in Bend, and most of our friends were still on trail and hiking to either McKenzie or Santiam Pass (another 30 and 60 miles, respectively) before coming into town. For now, Treekiller, Sunshine and I were on our own.
And so we headed to the buffet. Scooter dropped us off and we stood outside the doorway, expectantly waiting for them to open at 11. We spent the next three full hours inside demolishing plates of food. I could only make it through three plates of pizza, salad, soup, fried chicken, fries, and dessert before feeling stuffed, but Treekiller put away a full five plates, and Sunshine easily killed seven. Seven plates!
"Yeah, they made no money off me," he said.
Scooter joined us for our final round of food and we proudly left Izzy's with full bellies.
We drove back to our hotel, and as we were picking up our keys, the small Indian woman who was supervising the desk came running out the door waving another key over her head.
"Wait, wait!" said she. "I'm going to give you a bigger room."
"Oh - okay," we said, a bit surprised. "Thanks!"
We took the new key, and, slightly bemused, headed for the room. We opened the door expecting to see the usual tiny room with two queen beds crammed inside, but instead found ourselves staring at a living room.
A living room!
There were two couches, a coffee table, a TV, and around the corner we could see a full kitchen and dining room, fridge, cabinets, countertops. Whooping and exclaiming, the three of us ran into the room and down the hallway: there were two large bedrooms, one with two queen beds and one with a king. There were bookshelves lined with books, closets, and a large bathroom. We were beside ourselves. We couldn't believe we had scored such an amazing find - and for the cheapest rate in town! We lamented that we had no friends in town to share it with.
"I guess we get to make ourselves dinner after all!" Treekiller said.
Already excited by the prospect, we walked next door to the grocery store and spent $45 on all the fixings for a huge platter of bean dip, nachos, ice cream and oreos. After our usual in-town chores of laundry and showers, the three of us happily plopped ourselves in our living room with our batch of bean dip. watched bad movies and read bad romance novels from the bookshelves. We could tell already that we were going to like Bend.