2/12 Layover In Methven

Layover in Methven

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What is the best part of a layover day? Well, probably some of the parts I won’t write about are the best. But leftover pizza for breakfast is pretty darn good too.

I make coffee and work on some writing while the morning lazes away. Having a break from the repetitive routine of hiking and self-motivating for miles is a top-contending component for a day off. And so is clean clothes and clean hair. And water without the need to filter it. Eventually we head to the isite to retrieve our food box and a letter from my parents. They indeed have both, which is a never-quite-assumed actuality. We browse the postcards, admire a few quirky VW van earrings, and return to the hostel.

We have so much food. So. Much. The main culprits for this are finishing each section almost a day faster than projected, and only needing one day off due to weather for the entire island up to now; so the extra we tucked in to each resupply for waiting out swollen rivers and raging wind has simply accumulated. We walked into town with over 3 days’ worth of supplies left and have a very generous 6 days in front of us. This stresses me out immensely, for no good reason at all.

We dump things out on the table in the empty common room, and try to guess what we will actually use in the next section. A few people come in, and I tense. For whatever reason, people always comment on how much food we have, which happens as predicted right now. I can mouth the words along as though it’s a movie I’ve seen before. Even though it’s a point of pride that I have never run out of food, that we can take spontaneous days off at beautiful spots on the trail, that we can choose longer alternates or add tiny side trips, that we have extra to share if others need or just because, that it contributes to the trail feeling like a comfortable home rather than a depriving adversary necessitating a sprint for town, others’ unsolicited observations that it is excess always fills me with shame. I watch my brain translate each of these comments as: “real hikers starve.”

Isn’t that interesting? It’s actually annoying, and the awareness of watching my triggers get tripped doesn’t allow me to prevent it. Yet. Maybe someday.

We finally get the tedious process done, deciding to mail ahead four days of food to a small town down the trail to bring the weight of our packs down, and I go to do some journaling. Prana valiantly takes care of posting the box and doing laundry, and on a break from writing talk to Mom and Dad for awhile. We tick off the to-do list: charge all the electronic things, hang all the wet things to dry, back flush the filter, hunt for all the scraps of trash, replace all the ziploc bags that are no longer holding their assigned things.

At dinner we go for fish and chips at the much-touted Village Takeaway, but a ‘Closed’ sign faces us again. We default to the blue pub for dinner (there are four pubs, each a different color), which also serves fish&chips and has a ratatouille special tonight, which I pounce on. It’s disappointingly bland, but the vegetables taste exquisitely fresh, and I can feel my cells cheering with each piece of zucchini and tomato.

We see Jo on the way back to the hostel, and it sounds like many hikers will taking the school bus shuttle in the morning. We pick up a few fresh veggies for our first day on trail and some smoothies for an early breakfast, then pack our bags completely, ready to be slung on at 5:30 am. We finish off the ice cream left from last night and sink back into the comfy bed.

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