Day Eight – Zero

I am the laziest of bums today. But then, that’s what I’m told zeros are for. If you’re not walking, you’re lazing like a kitty caught in a sunbeam.

I sleep in again, rousing myself only to get out of the motel for checkout time – I offer to pay for my part of the room again, but Sarah and Jane wave me off, it’s already done. The kindness of “strangers” is a magical thing.

I figure now’s a good time for coffee, so I head down to Rocky Mountain Coffee Roasters, where I order a Bhakti Chai and a single shot on the side, so I can actually taste their roast. It’s good, as good as any of the shops I’ve worked at, and the caffeine fuels my fingers as they fly across my tiny cellphone screen.

I’m interrupted by an inquiry about my pack, and my fingers are happy for the break. It’s a gentleman who hiked the PCT and the AT back in the 90s, before all the lightweight gear and the water caches and and and. I love these stories, drink them in with my cuppa. We swap trail stories before he leaves for a dayhike – the joys of living in the mountains.

At noon, it’s back to meet Sarah and Jane before they frolic back to the trail. I buy them sweets as a thank you, even though I know it’s not enough, and they head off full of ice cream and sweets and chicken fingers. They’re only doing a couple miles, just up to the beginning of the Tenmile climb; I hope to see them again tomorrow night, at the bottom on the other side.

Then it’s scurrying about trying to find postcards and stamps for my Big City Mountaineers fundraiser donors, and batteries for my SPOT, and then it’s looking around the cabin museum complex which near-completely elides the Ute in its telling of the story of the town, and then…

Uh, relaxing, I guess. Waiting for M.

There’s more writing, and an egregious amount of TV and whatever passes for Teen Titans these days. Lazing on the bed. I text Special, and he tells me I can’t take a nap, even though M’s not going to arrive until after hiker midnight – it’s a zero, I should live a little.

So I go to Ollie’s and have a couple brews and a bacon macaroni and cheese burger. Yes, a heart attack bacon macaroni and cheese stacked on a burger. I regret nothing.

I head back to the motel to direct M in; she immediately needs a beer, so we head back to Ollie’s again, and chat for hours. And then – a real treat but also kind of weird – she does some shiatsu on me, trying to get my hip and such straightened out for the next section.

It’s 1:30am before we crawl into bed. Not bad for my first zero.

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