Friday, June 5, 2015

Day 51 - Mammoth Lakes day of rest

Friday June 5

A day of rest is wonderful!  Willy and I have a room at the Motel 6 in Mammoth Lakes, California. We didn't have to get up at first light. There was a warm shower and easy agenda for today. I loved laying on my bed, browsing the internet and eating lots of town food!

I went through my resupply boxes and am taking seven dinners and two days of snacks. That's enough food to get me to Toulumne Meadows, where I can buy five more days of snacks to get me to Northern Kennedy Meadows. 

For those who are interested, I made the mistake in my initial food planning, thinking that I would cook two meals a day. In reality, I only cook one meal a day, so I always have too much food in the boxes being shipped to me. I'll explain more in just a bit. 

I have six or seven extra dinners in my resupply boxes, which I plan to give to Willy's friends (Josh and Jay). They plan to do some hiking later next week and need some light weight food. Willy's friends are the ones who are providing us transportation to and from the trail. 

I mailed my micro-spikes back home. The micro-spikes worked really well on the icy slopes. They went on the shoes quickly and could be worn while walking over rocky patches as well and had decent traction. The micro-spikes were much better than "real" crampons in my opinion. Willy had crampons. They were heavier to carry, did not have good traction on rocks, and were dangerous. Willy tore up his pants and gaiters twice while wearing them. The micro-spikes shouldn't be needed, however, for the rest of the trip and I don't want to carry the extra weight. 

Willy and I also did a bit of grocery shopping. I needed some olive oil and Willy wanted to make some tortilla-wrapped hot dogs. I add olive oil to all my dinners for extra calories. The supermarket (Vons) had everything we needed. 

Back at the room we packed our food and Willy tested out his tortilla-hotdog. It was good. 

We also saw our first bear!  It was walking through the trees next door to the motel.

There have been thunder storms all afternoon.

Rain or shine we will be back on the trail tomorrow morning and we want to be in Toulumne Meadows by Monday afternoon.

Boy, it sure is nice to lay in bed for a day!

By the way, when I started the hike 51 days ago, I weighed 173 pounds. When I weighed myself at Vermillion Valley Resort two days ago, I was down to 153 pounds. I have already lost 20 pounds! 

The question often asked of me is, "Why don't you eat more?" 

The answer is, "I would, if I could carry more, but I can't." 

Hiking like I do requires about 5,000 calories per day. The food I eat gives me at most 3,000 calories. 

I try to find the most calorie-dense food as possible. However, a day's worth of food weighs about two pounds. And food is a significant portion of the weight that I have to carry. 

In the morning, I like to start out by eating a pastry which gives me carbohydrates and sugar for energy. I can eat the pastry while walking so I don't have to wait to cook a meal. 

During the rest of the day, I eat snacks like Snickers and Payday bars, pepperoni, Skittles, cheese and fig bars. I like these snacks, they are easy to find at most convenience stores and most importantly, they can be eaten while walking. 

At the end of the day, I eat one major meal that requires me to use my stove. My favorite meals are Mountain House meals or Idahoan Loaded Mashed Potatoes. To these I often add Fritos, cheese, summer sausage and/or olive oil for extra flavor and calories. I just boil water, add it to the meal and let it rehydrate in a plastic bag. I can set up camp while the food is rehydrating. There are no dishes to wash and it is simple to do. 

The "once a day cooking" also maximizes the use of fuel, so I can use one small canister of fuel for over two weeks (approximately 16 two-cup boils). 

As you can see, I try to keep moving as long as possible during the day. That's how you make the most miles, which is what a long-distance hiker is trying to do. 

When I get to a town, I try to make up for the lost calories by eating as much as possible. 

The daily lifestyle sounds crazy, but trying to hike 2,600 miles in five months is a bit crazy too! This crazy hiker is already more than a third of the way to his goal!


  1. Hey Bob
    A calorie consideration. Hammer Nutrition make energy products for endurance athletes. One of them, Perpetuem, is calories for loooong events. I've had friends use it as their main food source on long sea kayak expeditions. It's a powder and they'd make it into a paste and consume it throughout the day. It can also be added to a water bottle.
    If you have an address I can send some to one of your re supply stops for you to try.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure.


  2. Bobby, do you need me to remove some of the food before sending it to you? Or do you like having the extra to give/trade with people.

  3. Great information you're sharing- thank you!
    Sure, some may say hiking 2,600 in five months is crazy but, we like your kind of crazy! Stay crazy and safe... and keep sharing; we enthusiastically await every new entry!

  4. Good job bob! The pictures are amazing and I'm sure being there is a thousand times more beautiful.

  5. I know marathoners use something called gu energy gel, I don't know if it is any better than the stuff you currently have but if you see it you might want to take a peak.

  6. You having a full belly makes me smile with a tear in my eye.

    Missing and thinking of you often, Daddy!


  7. Ron was asking me today if we should vacuum pack some easy meals for you and get an address where mom is sending a box. Maybe some yummy chocolate/truffles. We just had our Salmon menu! We could have made you wonderful delicious fatty fish to you. Organic or something like that. You say the word and Ron and I are ON IT!!!! 20 pounds is a LOT for you to lose, Dad! Healthy fish jerkery sounds yummy, huh? or maybe so Devine jerkery? We are starting to get great weather here and the gardens are bouncin! If you've been craving something you haven't seen in Cali, let us know where to send it!


  8. Over 800 miles! Dad, you are one truly inspiriing man. Nearly every post from Footloose you gain more and more points! I think by the time you get home you will have the ability to hover around where ever you want to go. You'll have to teach me how to fly one of these days when you get home. It is so beautiful in every picture you post. It's really hard not to want to be there and hike a little with you (if
    (Of course I would have a car to drive town to town. I'm not ever be ready to hike the 30+ days you do. You hike as many miles in this trip per day as I do driving to work. And I get tired from just DRIVING! I have a superhero for a Dad! I might be able to work with that!! ;)


  9. Bob,
    It's great reading your posts and looking at the pictures. It really brings back memories of my through hike in 2013. I see you found the same thing I did about eating pastries while you hike in the morning.