Day 51: Monday, June 24

In the Motel 6 in Mammoth Lakes (PCT mi 906.7), walked 11.1 miles today

No snow last night, but the weather still very grey and cold all morning. Got hiking by 6:30 and, aside from the first mile or so of uphill, the 11 miles to Red's Meadow were a victory lap. Easy stress-free descent the whole way, did it all in one push and arrived at 10 sharp. Gavin and Skip were there, each on their way back out. Wouldn't have been enthused about hiking myself, given the weather. Sprinkling slightly at Red's Meadow, but after I caught the bus that brought me over to Mammoth Mtn. ski resort, it was positively pissing rain. Transferred to the free town shuttle from the ski resort and it was still raining, cold and very windy all the way down in town. I'd guess no more than 50 degrees ... not typical summer conditions for Mammoth.

Texted Matan and found his room at the Motel 6, Gangster and a dude named Bandleader were also present. Already a tight fit, an absolutely rancid-smelling fit, but a cheap fit, then I ran into Bow at the post office and he decided to make it 5 for the night, then it became a /very/ tight fit. Spent the afternoon running errands and wandering around Mammoth in the rain ... had two great meals, a log-sized burrito for lunch at Roberto's (that name made the Israelis and I start singing Lady Gaga, to Bow's bemusement) and an entire 14" pizza for dinner at Zpizza. Matan wouldn't eat lunch with us because, in this city of a bajillion restaurants, he was dead set on eating McDonald's--American McDonald's, which he's only had once, as opposed to Israeli McDonald's. I'm imagining the "Give me back my gefilte fish" jingle all over Israeli TV.

Talked to Kristin in the evening on the phone, declared that I could take no more dehydrated beans in my maildrops ... It's over between them and me. Don't know what the plan is for tomorrow, because I still have errands to do ... Bought a mosquito head net today but I still also want long pants for the immediate hiking future, so I've got to find a pair at a reasonable price. Been reading Tribhu's blog (, he's way ahead, despite being hit by a car here in Mammoth and having to lay up for many days) and he speaks gravely of the mosquitos north of here. Got to resolve the sock situation, too, they're holey enough now to be giving me my first blisters of the entire hike but there is no way to get store credit for my warrantied replacements at the outfitter, I have to go through Darn Tough themselves and get them sent to me farther up the road, and in the meantime find interim functioning socks.

Going to bed in a very crowded, smelly room. Bandleader went into some other hikers' room and said it smelled like beer and weed, but ours just smells like farts. I'm proud of the guys.