Getting Back Out On The Trail – Day 8 on the JMT
Today is day number one… again… or maybe it’s day 8. Whatever you call it, I’m just happy that I’m getting back out on the trail. I was so sad to leave after planning this great adventure for a year now, but that being said, I feel it was the right thing to do. Attending David’s mom’s memorial was bittersweet, but I loved hearing all the great stories and seeing just how many friends she had in her life. She lived a great life and I can only be so lucky to do the same. I still can’t believe that it was only last year that we went hiking for her eightieth birthday celebration! That’s amazing! In addition, the time off the trail gave David and me time to spend together. It’s hard with his new job to get this much time, but we were lucky.
The Long Drive
David was sweet enough to make the long drive to drop me off five hours away from home in Independence. This is where I would have been on this day If I had never gotten off trail and the easiest point to rejoin the JMT. Luckily the drive was beautiful and funny enough, when we stopped for lunch in Lone Pine, I saw two of the hikers that I’d leapfrogged with for a while right before ending up at VVR. They ended up finishing early and were celebrating with a friend a their brother before heading off to Mammoth.
Mt Williamson Motel & Basecamp
At around 5 pm we arrived at the Mt Williamson Motel and Basecamp. Instantly I got a good vibe. The place was painted in happy, bright, colors, and all the rooms looked like cute little cottages. We checked in at the front office with one of the super sweet owners. Anything I could possibly need help with, she was there to make things as enjoyable as possible. Shampoo, conditioner, food, laundry, weather reports, and more. I didn’t really need anything since this was going to be such a short stay, but it’s nice to know that if I needed help with anything, they were more than willing to be of assistance. This is a great place!
I am going to be rooming in cabin 6 which is a dog-friendly cabin, but I’m bummed that David and Roxie aren’t going to stay. There is an enclosed yard, dog bowls, dog leashes, sheets for the dog to sit on, and dog artwork. Alas, he decided to make the five-hour drive back home to take care of all of our other animals. Not only that, but he never sleeps well in hotels, so any chance he can get to sleep at home he jumps at the chance. I understand, but deep down inside, I wish he was staying.
After David and Roxie left I got cozy in my room. I organized my resupply and sorted what I would keep vs what I would donate. Tortillas, peanut butter, olive oil, a package of pop tarts (bad call; I should have kept those), sunscreen, and a handful of butterscotch candies went into the donation bin. I need to lighten up. Unfortunately, due to the predicted snowstorm, I brought an extra fleece, extra battery bank, microspikes, my tarp, and my heavier sleep clothes… which probably added three pounds. So much for going ultralight for the summit of Mt Whitney. Oh well. At least I’ll eat most of my food before then.
After organizing my food disaster, I relaxed on the bed until dinner. Tonight is their community pizza night, and I’m really looking forward to it. At six-thirty, I head out for dinner. I’m the first one there and worry that maybe this won’t be such a big get-together. No worries though. I pour myself a glass of wine and chat with the owners plus a few of their friends before the pizza arrives. To my surprise, the hotel guests and community locals start filing in and soon the tables are filled.
Just then I look up and see Jammin! I barely recognize her in regular clothes, but we’re so happy to see each other. She just arrived today as well. What luck! We catch up over dinner, drinking wine and eating pizza. Another hiker named Natalie joins us in the fun. It’s quite the party! We end up talking way too late and I don’t get back to my room until after nine. Now behind schedule, I take a shower, write in my journal, talk with David, and then pass out. Ok, not really. It takes me forever to fall asleep, but eventually, I find some sheep to count. One sheep, two sheep, three sheep…
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