Today was the best of all possible zero days. Besides hiking zero miles, which is the true definition of a zero day, I did almost zero activities.
My hosts, John and Erik, allowed me to sleep in as long as I wished. They were also available to shuttle me anywhere I needed to go to prepare for the next part of my hike.
I was grateful for their kindness and generosity.
Once I finally woke up, John offered to take me to a Fred Meyer grocery store. It was large enough that I was able to find all of the food I needed to get me to the next resupply point, which was Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood.
I didn't need to buy a lot, however. I expect to arrive in just three days. When I arrive, I'll pick up a box of food Kim prepared and shipped there.
When we returned from the grocery store, I began repackaging my food and organizing my gear so I would be ready to go first thing tomorrow morning. It was then that I discovered my shoes were in worse condition than I had previously thought.
The Altra Timps I had worn since my last zero day had already developed a large hole in the right shoe. This was surprising and disappointing because I had only worn them for 317 miles. The soles were still good, but they needed to be replaced right away.
Erik and John were willing to take me to REI, so solving the problem was easy.
One of the REI employees was an experienced trail runner. I had been looking at the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5 shoe, but he recommended a different model, the Stinson ATR 5. He knew as I did that the trail ahead included more volcanic rocks. They can rip a shoe to shreds. The Stinson, he said, would be more durable.
Unfortunately, the Challenger fit better because it was available in a wide width. The Stinson only came in a regular width. I decided to try going up a half size to make up the difference.
As we were leaving REI, Ryan and Mariah called with an invitation for us to go to their house for dinner. It was a pleasant ending to a relaxing day.
Dave and his family will pick me up tomorrow and we’ll begin hiking in Oregon. I’m hopeful that the new shoes I’ll be wearing will solve my biggest hiking problem. I’ve been trying for the last 20 years to find shoes I was completely satisfied with. These will be the fourth pair and third model I’ve worn during the first 1,242.3 miles of this hike.
Only time and miles will tell if I've finally found the right shoes.