Day 77: Lots of work on my day off!

Day 77
July 4

I headed over to Ernie’s for breakfast again, and this time decided to have a celebratory mamosa with my meal. After all, I had just walked over 1,000 miles and it was the 4th of July!
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I was the only hiker in the place. South Lake Tahoe is a big place and most of the hikers were staying near the casinos on the other side of town.
After I finished eating, I headed back to my room and hand-washed more clothes, including my sleeping bag liner. I also discovered that the first washing of my socks hadn’t removed much of the smell they had acquired during the stormy, wet days! So, I scrubbed them again. Then, I spread out all of my food on my bed and started the sorting process. I got so tired that I had to lie down sideways on the bed, pushing the food aside, to take a little nap. I woke to discover a text from UB. He said he was driving up to SLT to help out Muk Muk and wondered if I was still in town. I told him that I was and invited him to crash in my room if he needed a place to stay.
I headed back to the outfitters to buy a replacement Sawyer water collecting bag and a canister of fuel. Then, I walked over to the drugstore to buy some lithium batteries for my headlamp and a soda bottle for my water. The platypus bottles were too expensive and too easily punctured on this trail.
My Swiss friend said he didn’t have time to talk today, but then changed his mind. Not long after we started our call, UB texted to tell me that he was at the outfitters with Sierra Bum. He had driven right by my motel! I knew they were both looking for a place to stay, but my room was much too small for three people and this news did not make me happy. Several minutes later, he knocked on the door while I was on the phone. He had brought his little dog with him and wanted to know if it could hang out in my room. He also had a carton of cupcakes that he had bought for trail magic, which he immediately spilled on my bed! There was frosting all over my comforter! UB asked if the dog could stay with me while they went to get some pizza across the street. The dog was highly in need of a bath and I had to quickly shove all of my things into the recesses of the room so everything would not be covered in its hair! I continued my phone call and later received a text from UB telling me that they were going to check out the campground nearby, as my room was too small. By the time I was finished with my call, they had already left the pizza place.
Later on, UB stopped by to pick up his dog. He said he would call me after he walked it and we could go see the fireworks. I was excited to finally have someone to see fireworks with! I struggle with being alone on every holiday, and was thankful to now be in a place where I had instant friends and where we actually had time to spend together!
However, the minutes ticked by, it got dark, and I never heard from him, even after I sent a text. I assumed they had smoked themselves out and thus were not in a state to move. My mood dropped as quickly as it had been lifted. Once again, I would not be seeing the fireworks. I was able to talk to another friend in the meantime, however, and I saved some energy by not having to go out and fight my way through humongous crowds of people. I suppose everything was just fine.
I went across the street to pick up my now cold pizza and asked if they had any soda. For the first time in many, many years, I was craving some with my pizza. However, they said they did not have any! (How could that be?!)
I cleaned up a little more and did some final sorting before I went to sleep. So much for a fun, relaxing day off on this holiday! Hiking long trails is a lot of work!


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