Town stops are hedonistic. This morning our roommates were getting rid of some Nutella, so The Barracuda and I ate spoonfuls in bed while watching cartoons and drinking soda. We finished off the last 2/3rds of the container. It was a great breakfast.
Earlier in the day we went to Sizzler and ate until both of us thought we might puke. There was an endless salad bar, and endless taco bar, and an endless dessert bar. We stayed for over 2 hours. It was an awesome pre-dinner.
On the way into town we grabbed 4 sodas out of the cache the hotels had set up as advertising. We don't drink pop at home, but it contains too many calories to waste out here. They were a delicious pre-lunch.
Before we caught our bus back to the trailhead, The Barracuda ate an entire large pepperoni pizza himself. It was just over 2,300 calories. I thought I would get a slice or two, but apparently not.
But the greatest part has to be the "hotel." I use that term lightly. There are hotels in most towns, but our trail budget doesn't really allow us to stay in them. Plus, we are just too dirty. They call it "hiker ring" when PCT hikers get out of a bathroom or shower and the highly visible dirt ring lingers. Let's be real, we're foul. However, considering that anything even remotely couchlike, a microwave, and hot water are mystical luxuries, we don't require much.
This last night, we stayed at Nature's Inn. It is a place on the trail people talk about for a good 40 miles out. The manager is a little wacky and the employees have enough prison tattoos for there to be no doubt they have served some serious time. You have to share a room with other hikers who are total strangers - if you even get a room, they will house you anywhere, even in a back closet - and often times that can mean sleeping on a couch. The back patio advertised is a ram-shackled deck sort of thing looking out on 3 feet of patchy scrub grass and the Wi Fi is the world's slowest laptop in the back room. But everyone tends to come. Hikers hang out on the front porch swings. They congregate in the back room with ancient board games containing improvised pieces long since missing the originals. They laugh till all hours and then pass out everywhere.
Do not be fooled - The Natures Inn is a major destination.
In every room there are jacuzzi tubs! This post was written on crinkled, water sploched notebook paper from a full sized jacuzzi with steaming hot water and bubbles! There was even a fresh new razor to my left and a soda on my right. There are few luxuries on the trail, but, my goodness, this is one was divine!
It was just like the movie Pretty Woman...you know...if Julia Roberts was a long distance backpacker who hadn't bathed in over a week and there was no Richard Gere.