Despite the loud music from next door, I slept well and got up late. It was 7am by the time I got out of my sleeping bag and made my way down to the General Store. Sierra City is a tiny place, around 200 people, and the store is the centre of the 2 block town. The hikers all hang out on the porch for the wifi connection, and for a while I charged up my battery and thought about the day ahead. I wandered up to the Red Moose Cafe just before 8am but it was full and I came back to the store not feeling like making conversation over breakfast. I checked out the laundry room where there were 2 functional washers and no working dryers, and went back to the churchyard to sort out my dirty washing. Which was everything.
At 8:40 I went back to the cafe and settled myself in a corner of the bar, a wonderful location for solitude but very poor for drinking your body weigh in refills of coffee. As I ate I watched the other patrons and noticed one order the “hungry hiker special” which I hadn’t been told about. Maybe I’ll stay overnight and eat that tomorrow.
The store was meant to open at 10am so I settled back down on the porch reading and planning the next resupply locations. Fellow Brits Hufflepuff and Phil were also waiting for the store to open, and we talked about the hiker huts on various trails. Apparently there are more on the PCT further north than the Peter Grubb hut, but not nearly as many as for example the Appalachian Trail or the trails in New Zealand.
At 10am someone inside the store came out to post a sign indicating they would now not be opening until 11am. Then 11am came and went and the store remained closed. I was getting worried that I wouldn’t have time to unpack Frankenstein’s resupply and repackage the food that Chug would have taken to send on to my next stop before the Post Office closed! Thankfully at 11:40 the door opened for the day and I could pick up my food and new shoes. I’ve chosen Altra Lone Peak this time; I tried a pair on in the Sports Basement in San Jose and they seemed wider than my Merrells so hopefully they will be more comfortable. My shoes are shredded anyway, after 500 miles.
Finally I set about cleaning up my clothes and myself. I hadn’t wanted to shower until I had clean clothes to put on, and I couldn’t do laundry until the store opened and I could get quarters. I changed into my rain clothes and, sweating, wandered down the hill to the RV park where there were at least working washers and dryers. The laundry room was wonderfully cool and had a bizarre library so I installed myself there for the wash cycle to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.
Once I had clean clothes, I made my way to the solar shower in preference to those in the public restrooms which provide only cold water. Whilst the solar shower wasn’t warm it was refreshingly cool in the hot weather rather than bracingly cold. Finally done for the day! The remaining task was to tackle the 1lb “gut buster” burger and charge up all my batteries. I had thought about hiking out in the evening but I think I will stay here again, see about that Hungry Hiker Special in the morning and head up the hill first thing.
Camping: Mile 1198, Sierra City churchyard