I’m glad I stayed in town the extra day. With town stops, the day I arrive is not as relaxing a as I’d like. I have to resupply with food and other necessities, get to the post office before it closes, and find a place to stay if I’m not hiking out the same day. In a large, spread-out town like Big Bear, this can be more stressful than relaxing since nothing’s centrally located and I’m on foot. So, having gotten most everything done Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, I could relax and be off on my feet on Monday afternoon/evening. As it turned out, my second day in Big Bear, the town became a hiker Mecca. All the people who were a day or two behind me came in and it was great to see some familiar faces as well as to meet new people. I caught up with NAFTA and A-Train, whom I hadn’t seen since Paradise Cafe, as well as a host of other folks whom I won’t list here.
One thing that showed up in full force on the second day was my appetite. Over the course of long distance trails, hikers inevitably get used to living on less. I cannot possibly carry on my back the number of calories required to sustain me at a 20-mile-per-day pace every day. So, the body adapts and learns to make use of every last calorie consumed and eventually what I eat out here fills me up pretty good. Thus, on my first day in Big Bear, a salad with fries for dinner and a pancake breakfast the next day was fine. Later on, however, going into the second day my appetite grew monstrous for things I had been withholding from it. That afternoon, I spent a good 1 1/2 hours at the Sizzler ($8 all-you-can-eat!) with Yogi, Captain America, Samuri and Billy Goat. Later, I ate sushi until I nearly exploded with Tea Tree, Basil, and an Asheville, NC couple: Walk It Off and Foots Aflame. Beers, plum wine and sake accompanied and followed, so bedtime was much past the usual “hiker midnight” hour of 8:30 pm.
Now I’m back out here in the woods, subsisting on Carnation Instant Breakfast, mac + cheese, tortillas, stream water with iodine, and Raisin Bran. Since today was short (10 miles), I carted up a few luxury food items to eat tonight and tomorrow: venison jerky and Crystal Light. Bon Appetit!