May 19, 2015
HWY 18-Big Bear Lake (266.0)
0 miles today
279.1 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 0 ft, – 0 ft
There is nothing that could have made today’s “zero” any more perfect. We spent the morning getting a bunch of errands and chores done, but took a nice long break for breakfast at Big Bear’s famous “Grizzly Manor Cafe”. They serve the largest pancakes I’ve ever seen in a restaurant and they are a thru-hikers dream come true. Pickles and I delighted in a breakfast that almost perfectly fit the description of “perfect breakfast” that we had come up with yesterday morning while dragging ourselves through the desert.
From there we stopped by the post office, on recommendation of Mama Bear, and discovered a beautifully rendered portrait of Pickles and I hiking, drawn by none other than our sweet “niece”, 3 year old Adeline. It was a fun surprise and a reminder that there is still almost nothing quite as exciting as real post office style mail. We stopped by a windy farmer’s market on the way back home, but then ditched out because my allergies were acting up and I needed to get indoors and take some medicine.
On the way back we stopped by Starbucks. I have to pause here and mention my newest obsession with s’mores, and the best part is I’m not alone. In the same week, as I’ve been out camping and wishing for nothing but some s’more fixings over an open fire, Starbucks came out with a s’mores frappucino and Oreos came out with a s’mores cookie. So, of course, I indulged in both on the way home from the market. They were amazing, and honestly I would have more of both right now if I could.
Anyway, back to our day off-trail. I spent the afternoon relaxing in our hotel’s hot tub, then we did some re-rationing, and then in the evening we headed back to our favorite Mexican food restaurant for some dollar tacos and drinks with a bunch of our hiker friends who were also in town. We had a group of 10 to 12 hikers in the restaurant and had a great time swapping stories and getting to know one another.
When we got home, it was back into our comfy beds, in front of the TV, for the long-awaited (by Mama Bear at least) finale of The Voice. Any other day I might be a bit embarrassed to admit to such an indulgent and lazy day, but with 266 miles behind us and about 2,400 miles to go until Canada, we’re taking all the relaxation and luxury we can get.