The anticipated zero

Miles: 789.9 to 789.9

Mileage: 0

Day: 40

Coming down out of the Sierras for real world business and a week of slacking*, we knew we would need a solid day to get the logistics in order. 

*Slacking, or slack packing, is when thru hikers cover miles on the long distance trail they’re hiking but do so as a day hike, without overnight gear. 

We caught the 6:30 a.m. bus north from Independence to Bishop, a larger town with more resources. 

We started by hitting the Schat’s Bakery for breakfast and second breakfast. We got there for pastries, bagels and coffee before 8 a.m. and were finished with those and anxiously awaiting the sandwich bar opening by 8:10. 

We had pizza and a HUGE sandwich from the bar when it opened at 8:30. 

From there we headed to all three gear shops in town to replace or update some of our supplies. 

We got a new fuel canister, Aqua Mira water treatment, liner socks, a new hat, and a new rain jacket to replace the poncho I will be mailing home. 

Next stop was the car rental. In order to slack pack ourselves, and eventually get to the airport, we needed a car. Once rented, we headed north to Walker, California. We got a motel room, some dinner and then all our circumstances changed. 

After dinner, as I was packing my pack for the ambitious 32-mile day we had planned, I started feeling pressure and pain in my abdomen. It was similar, but less intense, then the gastrointestinal discomfort of traveler’s diarrhea I got in Dominican Republic. 

Figuring it would go away soon, I tried to get some sleep. 

But sleep did not come. I was up most of the night on the toilet flushing down fluids. 

I get did some relief after 2:30 a.m. when I vomited up my thru-hiker-sized dinner. Although the diarrhea didn’t stop. 

It was a long and uncomfortable night. A night that was not followed by a day of slack packing.

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