The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 1 July 2012

day 22 - Another Nero

Friday 22 June (1715-1830ish)
Distance: 2.75 miles (non-PCT miles)

On Wednesday evening Mick's vote was for a Zero today, whereas my
original plan had been for a nero. I was happy to go with Mick's
opinion, and we came up with a planned itinerary for the rest of the
walk based on that.

Various plans were hatched about where we would spend the second
night, until Mick, surprisingly suggested that we could walk a couple
of miles back up the pass tonight. I pointed out that wouldn't be a
zero, but that's exactly what we've done.

I'm pleased to report that even though we were only in town for a day
and a bit, we are feeling well rested and well fed. The 3 showers that
we fitted into our stay at the Dow Villa Hotel have made us feel more
human too - I think we managed to get most of the dirt off!

Today's activities involved only eating (there was lots of that) and
repacking our bags, including the whole exercise of once again
cramming 6 days food into our bear cans. We have more food with us
this time (we need to eat more, whether we feel like it or not), yet
we managed to get it all in. Those cans are advertised as holding 6
man-days of food, and I'd say they're about right.

Needing to get back to Independence, and with the bus not being until
5pm, we had no real option but to hitch - or to beg a ride. The latter
seems to work better, so we wandered along to the petrol station where
I walked over to a group of ladies whose cars seemed to be pointing
the right way and asked if they were headed to Independence. And thus,
I scored us a lift on the first ask - bingo!

Getting out of Independence, up the 15-mile dead-end road to the trail
head wasn't quite as easy. Trail Angel Uber-Bitch was down there, but
her car was full, so off we went with our 'Trail Please' sign to try
our luck hitching. We did finally get picked up, after about an hour
(the main problem was lack of cars heading up the road), by the camp
host of the campground at the trail head. As it happened it was
moments before Uber-Bitch returned for her next run, and we ended up
being overtaken by her car. Still, it did mean that all seven of us
who were waiting at the roadside got up to the trail at about the same

As we left Independence we saw many of the posse we had been moving
along with over the last week or so, but most of them were headed into
Bishop for resupply. Only one is heading back out in the morning, so
it looks like we're going to be with a new group of people on this
next stage.

Next stop is VVR. The plan hatched yesterday morning suggested we'll
be catching the ferry across the Lake on Thursday evening. Having got
a headstart tonight (rather than heading out tomorrow lunchtime), it's
possible we may now make the Thursday morning ferry and have a day and
a half there. We'll see - there's many a high pass between here and

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