PCT Day 98
Thursday July 20
I decided to completely devote today to RELAXATION! Apparently I am not very good at just taking it easy so I have to schedule a day for resting. No town chores, no blogging, no traveling, no cleaning, no resupplying. It’s harder than it sounds :).
I started off the day at the the Driftwood Cafe where I met Dr. Pain, Sunkist and Halfway for breakfast. I was amazed at the amount of food that Halfway can currently consume. He ordered *two* breakfasts and ate them both – and ate some of my food too. I’ve heard of hiker hunger before but this was the first time I’d really seen it in action. Impressive.
After breakfast I walked to a Day Spa next door and treated myself to a 90-minute deep tissue massage. My back and calves were still pretty sore and I’d been waking up in the middle of the night with calf spasms. The massage was a nice treat. Aaaahhhh…
In the afternoon I walked to the beach with Dr. Pain which was located only a 5-minute walk from the hostel. The beach was crowded with tourists and kids building sand castles. I spread out my foam sleeping pad and relaxed on the sandy beach – the sand seeming oddly out of place next to a lake. Smoke from the nearby forest fires still covered the lake, mostly obscuring the mountains on the other side. It almost felt like we were at the ocean.
We met Sunkist and Halfway for dinner at Basecamp Pizza Co. in Heavenly Village. Heavenly Village is an enormous shopping complex with shops, restaurants, a movie theater and even a gondola to the top of a nearby mountain. It is a magnet for tourists and vacationing families mobbed the sidewalks as we tried to walk by. It was a little overwhelming to be around so many people after being in the woods for so long.
Basecamp Pizza Co. is well-known to the hiker community as they offer a free personal pizza to thru-hikers with the purchase of a beverage. It is an extremely popular restaurant and the wait for a table was over an hour and a half. Yikes. We found table in the bar, however, and got our free pizzas. Afterwards we just sat on a bench in the plaza and watched the tourists. It almost felt like I was on vacation intentionally. It was a really surreal feeling.