Day 67: Bishop Mule Days
Saturday, May 26, 2018 8:13 pm
Location: Bishop / The Hostel California

As I predicted, I did not sleep well at all. My “bed” was quite uncomfortable, and the crowd in the common area was somewhat loud until quite late. Dylan, Flowers, and Quoi were in the same boat. And Quoi also had someone wake her up at 5:30 by sitting down on the couch she was sleeping on. Needless to say, we were all a bit tired and grumpy in the morning.

I half-dragged Quoi off to breakfast (she was quite a bit hangry); we intended to go to Jack’s, a diner a couple of blocks away, but with the Mule Days parade a couple of hours away, the diner had a half-hour wait. We bailed on Jack’s and went to McDonald’s instead.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Bishop hosts Mule Days, a multi-day celebration of the mule. The only event we saw was the parade that proceeded down Main Street (US-395), which is claimed (by Wikipedia) to be the largest non-motorized parade in the US.

Bishop Mule Days Parade
Bishop Mule Days ParadeA National Park Service horse and mule train at the Bishop Mule Days Parade.

We returned to the hostel, and I got a shower (which was a bit frustrating, as the water kept switching between scalding hot and freezing cold; I think I was competing with the washing machine), and then we took our dirty laundry (that is, mine, and Quoi’s, as well as Dylan’s and Flowers’) to the laundromat, half a block away from the hostel. While I was watching the laundry (and on the phone doing tech support for my mom’s email), another couple came into the laundromat and proceeded to do some sort of photo shoot; he was taking pictures from various angles while she modeled doing laundry. It was somewhat surreal.

After delivering our clean laundry back to the hostel, the four of us went to a gear store in town. I got some replacement socks for a pair that had developed holes, as well as a belt. (I’ve now lost about 12.5 pounds since starting on the trail, finally putting me at my pre-Appalachian Trail weight.) I don’t really need the belt right now, but as I continue to lose weight, I’ll definitely need it. We wandered around town a bit, checking out a few other stores before returning to the hostel.

“Get your ass in here!”
“Get your ass in here!”A Mule Days sign painted on a restaurant’s window.

With bunk spaces freed up from yesterday, I was able to get a bunk, but I forgot to specify yesterday I wanted a bottom bunk, so I wound up on the top. While I’m generally not worried about falling out, climbing up and down is a pain, especially with no shoes on. I wound up moving myself to a different top bunk where I could use a trunk wedged between the beds and a wall as a step-stool and the wall as a brace.

While we were out, Alias and Tenderfoot had arrived at the hostel. We compared experiences leaving Kennedy Meadows; Alias noted the ridiculously deep postholes on the trail; I confirmed they were probably ours.

Dylan, Quoi, and I did a round of pack shakedowns for ourselves. With the idea of making a bounce box and sending stuff I don’t need between here and our next resupply spot (Mammoth Lakes), I pulled nearly two pounds of stuff out of my pack to send forward. Some of this is stuff I’ve accumulated that I don’t really need at all (a PCT lapel pin, a PCT buff, and a PCT bandana), but I also have two shirts that I don’t need right now, but might need later. Dylan also found a bunch of stuff to send forward, though Quoi wasn’t able to pull anything out of her pack.

The complicating factor is, we’re planning on leaving on Monday morning, and that’s Memorial Day, so the post office is going to be closed then. I’m sure we’ll figure something out between now and then, though.

Craynip, who temporarily had a rental car, gave us a ride to the food store so we could do our food resupply. (For some reason, the food store a block away from the hostel was closed for construction.) With our next resupply stop of Mammoth Lakes about 120 miles ahead, we are taking ten days of food for snow contingency, but hoping we go faster.

Back at the hostel, I climbed into my (substantially more comfortable than the last several nights) bed and dozed off to sleep.

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