June 15, 2018
We went back to Stellar Brew for breakfast again, then packed up all our stuff to vacate the hotel room. We caught the trolley to the Village, which is an upscale little shopping area just outside of town and very near the hostel. Sparky and Ghosthiker waited for the next trolley to take them to the Horseshoe Lake Trailhead and I walked the 1/2 mile to the Davison Street Guest House, where I’d be staying until my test results came back from the hospital.
It felt weird to not be hiking out with my trail family. I was awake for a while the previous night feeling very anxious about hiking alone from here to Tuolomne Meadows, basically hiking alone for the first time. I couldn’t understand why, though. I’d begun this epic hiking journey as a solo hiker and still considered myself to be one even though I’d had a dedicated trail family almost the entire time I’d been on the trail. We’d already passed the sketchiest part of the Sierra, and I’d be back hiking with Sparky and Ghosthiker in no time. It made no sense that I should be anxious. Maybe because I’d hiked almost 1000 miles and had yet to truly be on my own, a revelation that gave me mixed feelings. Hadn’t I come out here to be separate, to “find myself” in the wild? It sounds so tropey when I write it like that.
Earlier that day, I’d run into Spice Rack as he was catching a trolley back to the trail, and we chatted for a bit. He asked how my hospital visit had gone and I told him I’d be staying in town for several days waiting for test results to come back. He said to ask Eric at the hostel about working in exchange for stay, since that was what he’d been doing for the last week, and now that he was leaving Eric would surely be looking for someone else.
When I got back to the hostel after bidding Sparky and Ghosthiker farewell, Eric told me that he unfortunately already had a work-for-stay person, but that he also cleans vacation rentals and I could help with that in exchange for my stay at the hostel. I told him that would be awesome, I’d be glad to help. I dropped off my pack in the shared room I’d be staying in and we went to a nearby condo complex where I spent roughly an hour and a half helping Eric do some basic cleaning. Nothing I hadn’t done before many times, so definitely worth doing in exchange for a place to stay. I wouldn’t have minded paying either, of course, but not knowing how long I’d be there definitely had the potential to put a little stress on my finances.
After that, I hung around at the hostel for a bit, went into town to the health food store so I could mail some good, healthy food ahead to Tuolomne Meadows, and generally just bummed around a bit. It was weird to feel like I didn’t really have anything to do. All of my normal town chores were basically done, I was two days clean, and my trail family was gone. It was just me in a big house that was rapidly filling with hikers.
The World Cup was going on so there was a lot of chatter about that, but mostly just a lot of hikers talking about their experiences crossing over the Sierra with so much snow on the ground. At one point I moved into the living room and decided to try the TV, and the first thing to appear when I turned it on was The Truman Show. It only took a few moments for several hikers to see what was on and decide to watch with me, and eventually the whole livingroom was full. It was fun.