Day 23: Zero in Big Bear Lake

April 13, 2018


That first night in Big Bear was the heaviest night’s sleep I’d gotten since I started the trail. I know I moved around a bit but I don’t remember moving, which means I didn’t wake up when I moved. I slept all night. I didn’t feel as sore, which meant my body actually had a chance to repair itself. Fantastic. Time for a zero day!

I awoke around 7am and the room was still dark. Everything looked about the same as when I’d gone to sleep and I thought everyone was still sleeping, so I lay in bed for a long time just relishing in the softness of the sheets and mattress and the knowledge that I didn’t need to pack up and start hiking soon. I had the whole day and very little to do. Eventually, my stomach began to growl and I climbed as quietly as humanly possible out of my top bunk and down the steps to the floor only to discover that the room was completely empty! Everyone had already gotten up well before me and I hadn’t heard them make a sound! Feeling silly, I switched on the lights and made sure I was presentable before heading towards the kitchen for some much-needed coffee. We had a good laugh when I told them how long I’d been lying awake thinking they were all still asleep. 

Ghosthiker and Sparky had already gone to breakfast and come back, for which I was glad. I didn’t really want to spend any money if I didn’t have to, and if there’s one thing I was quickly learning about thru-hiking it’s that entire meals can be made from the findings in a Hiker Box. Big Bear Hostel not only had some huge hiker boxes but lots of items in the kitchen that had been left behind by other hikers and were up for grabs. I had a nice bowl of raw oats and honey with milk for breakfast, some Honey Nut Cheerios, and later that evening shared some beer with other hikers that had been left behind. I had several meals at the hostel in this way and made sure to leave some of my own groceries behind when I left, things I couldn’t pack out like fruit and veggies I’d picked up at the store and could only eat some of. I took a video tour of the hostel but unfortunately, this is the only photo I took while I was there!

It’s covered in coffee grounds because I pulled it back out of the trash to take a picture, cuz I’m a dork.

I spent most of that day lazing about reading my book, indulged in another shower, visited the Big 5 sporting goods store with Sparky and Ghosthiker, and generally just tried to take it easy. The walk to Big 5 and the grocery store was really painful even without wearing a pack, and I was starting to get anxious about the state of my foot. I didn’t want to take another zero and risk losing my new trail family.

The day seemed to go too fast. If I’d known then what the following day would bring, I may have spent my lazy afternoon a little differently. Probably drinking more water.

Day 24: Surprise Trip to the ER

Published by rogerssj23

I'm a long-distance hiker, an audiobook producer, and an amateur writer. I live in the woods in a renovated 1972 Airstream with my Golden Retriever Zoe. Read more about my hiking adventures at

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