Day 16- an unexpected zero

Laurie woke up at 4 am to a familiar “pop”

“Shit” Andy whispered in the dark.

“Was that you?”

“Yup” Laurie replied in a sleepy and disappointed tone.

Now both of our pads had busted. 

A few mornings prior Andy was sitting up stuffing his sleeping bag when his pad popped. Initially neither of us knew what had happened. On closer inspection we noted that one of the baffles had come undone. The pad didn’t deflate completely, but with one big lump in the middle of the pad, it wouldn’t be very comfortable to sleep on. We sleep on Exped hyperlite pads. They are super comfy but apparently not super resilient. 

Andy was willing to make it work until we got to Big Bear on Friday, but now that both of us would be sleeping on lopsided pads we decided to attend to the issue.

So today we took an unexpected zero. 

Andy called a friend who drove 2 hours to come and get us. Thanks Tony! We exchanged our pads at REI and Andy got a new backpack.

Andy has had his pack for over 6 years and dealt with minor discomforts thinking it was all just part of backpacking. Majority of the weight fell on his shoulders rather than his hips. With our heavy water carries these minor discomforts became more bothersome. We tried to fiddle with the straps and placement of the hip belt, but that only led to love handle chafage- not pleasant! Today Andy settled on the REI flash 65- we hope it is a keeper!

With only 2 days on trail, Laurie struggled with feeling like she didn’t “deserve” this day off. She felt she hadn’t walked far enough to have another feast and shower. Funny how these basic parts of life are interpreted in her mind as rewards, rather than just a benefit of living.

It is amazing how deep rooted internal monologues surface even on long journeys like this.

This, however, is the life of a thru hiker- learning to roll with the punches and change plans on a whim. Laurie, who is accustomed to plans, is slower to adapt to this way of life than Andy.

Once at the home of Andy’s parents we feasted twice, took a short nap, laundered our clothes and attended to “adult” issues like car insurance and health insurance. The day flew by.

It is now time for bed as tomorrow the adventure continues!

Today we are grateful for good friends and  Rei’s return policy.  

this is like sleeping on a soft foam roller- constantly nudging you off to one side


4 thoughts on “Day 16- an unexpected zero

  1. “It is amazing how deep rooted internal monologues surface even on long journeys like this.”

    So true. The trail is also a good place to lose the monologues that don’t work for us.

    Hope your gear changes work. Long live REI


  2. How fortunate that the two of you were able to swap pads and continue with sleeping assists
    that actually are comfortable. Yes REI is gracious in standing behind their products. The
    two of you are learning so much about life and the important parts of making a relationship
    work not just in the wild but eventually back at home too..

    Love and hugs to both of you
    Auntie Jean

    P.S. Today is Caden’s birthday..He’s three and so cute..


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