I land in LA, exhausted from only 3 hours sleep over my 22h of traveling but determined to smash out my resupply like a boss.
Resupply is preparing food and other sundries to send to myself at specific points along the trail. I’m determined not to have the crappy hiker diet that focuses purely on calories in and not nutrition, plus I don’t eat the animals so I need to make myself yummy boxes to send ahead. I will pick these up at various locations- post offices, hiker “trail angel” houses, hotels and even “gas stations”. I’m only sending boxes to specific towns that have no decent shops to buy from, that way my schedule is a little more flexible (I won’t ‘have’ to stop in towns, or worse wait a day or so until the post office reopens if I get there on a weekend), plus I anticipate getting thoroughly sick of whatever food I post myself so buying in towns will mix it up.
After sorting my rental car out I start out with a bang- I find an amazing co-op with lots of vegan options, including bulk dehydrated soups, beans, hummus. I go overboard buying way too much museli – there were 15 different options! Mmm
Next stop is REI where I need to pick up a new sleeping pad and poles, plus a few other bits and pieces such as fuel for my stove, bug head net (mine had a fight with some velcro and came off second best), a new spork and mug (mine disappeared in my house move!) And a new pair of socks to post up ahead on the trail.
I head on over to the apartment of a lovely friend from college Heather and her husband Mark. They have very generously opened their home to me as mission control for sorting out all the boxes.
After some catching up we brave costco! Here I buy a bazillion ziplock bags, nuts, dried fruit, entirely too many Ibuprofen, electrolyte drink powder…and a few othr bits and bobs. A quick zoom past the post office and I collect a pile of empty boxes.
Day 1 of resupply is finished with a visit to a fantastic vegan restaurant Cafe Gratitude. I have their cookbook which is filled with delicious sweets. No trip to LA is complete without a celebrity spotting, and the lovely Rachael Taylor is exiting the cafe as we enter. As one of the hallmarks of the cafe, after taking our orders the waitress gives us a question to chew over – what are you committed to? Well, I’m committed to a little 50cm wide and 4260km long piece of dirt for the next little while at least.
Day 2 and I get a US sim sorted, head to the delicious Trader Joes (flattened bananas! Freeze dried strawberries!) and Whole Foods (kale chips! Mashed potato!), get a new lens (18-55mm – yes I have swapped my amazingly awesome primes for a zoom. 🙁 unfortunately weight dictates that zoom makes the most sense) and a couple more memory cards, and general fluff…
Again I attack the food, try and divvy up portions and get a handle on the food situation. It appears there is no handle. So many bits and pieces and a few more bits. I’m in and out of the car heading back to the same shops picking up things I forgot. After my kick-bum start, I have entered some kind of resupply / jetlag vortex. I’m constantly buying, shopping, packing yet nothing seems to progress!
Day 3: Fedex has lost a package that was supposed to be delivered from LA…to LA. It contained my maps, my tyvek sheet and stuff sack for my clothes. I’m holding out because I really want to portion out the maps into my boxes. 4 phone calls later they are no closer to finding (or even looking for??) my package. I hold out for one more night in case it arrives.
Still boxing. Packing. Dividing.
A visit to the restaurant Sage finishes the day beautifully. I think I’ll be dreaming about the superfood icecream for a while!
I go to bed thinking I have around 2 hours more of packing and then I’ll head off!
Day 4: 8 hours later (just *slightly* more than 2…) and finally the resupply is conquered. I somehow miss a box I was supposed to pack, have way too much breakfast food left over (and not enough dinner) and end up not really knowing what to expect in each box!
The remaining snack food, wipes and vitamins are boxed up to be sent to Ashland in Oregon later on where I will sort out resupply for Oregon and Washington.
The boxes are all posted complete with little kangaroo road signs on the sides (for easy recognition amongst the hiler boxes), much to the confusion of the post workers. They have no idea what general delivery is, can’t understand what I’m doing, but wish me luck on my way out.
Massive massive gratitude to Heather and Mark and Watson (dog) and Romeo (cat) for letting me take over! I don’t think they quite knew what they were in for but were so helpful and gracious with all my crap collecting. My first trail angels!! 🙂
I’m now on the train heading to San Diego where angel #2 Bob will be picking me up, hosting me for the night and driving me to the trail head in the morning. In the morning!!! Less than 10h from now.
Holy giant trail batman.
All of a sudden it is almost seeming real. No doubt with 6L of water on my back plus all my gear it will feel too real.
But I’m committed. What are you committed to? 🙂