Day 83 - Redding Side Trip - June 27

I had to resist eating breakfast, but lucky for me, the owners of the guest ranch were heading into town at the same time as my appointment, so I got a ride with them.

They were late for an appointment when we got there, due to lots of road construction on the highways.  They dropped me off close to the highway, about one mile from my appointment, but I had plenty of time to walk.  My blisters were feeling a lot better, I was walking around in borrowed clothes and flip-flops.  The flip-flops let the blisters dry out.

The appointment was very quick, I was there ten minutes early and left right at my appointment time.  Then I went in search of food.  There was a Thai place, a fast casual type that had just opened after being a successful food truck.

I ordered Pad Thai from the guy, but I said I was vegan and he kind of asked me what he could put on it, whether peanuts were vegan.  What I got was a poorly mixed greasy mass of noodles with a handful of mushrooms, bell peppers, spring onions and bean sprouts.  Two lime slices on the side were insufficient to cut the grease.  It was like the bad Chinese version of Thai food.  This was likely the worst meal I've eaten in California.  Yuck.  If I wasn't a hungry thru-hiker, it would have been inedible.

Then I got an Uber to a running store to get shoes.  I tried on the three shoes in stock in my size and ended up picking the Brooks Caldera.  They seem to be Brooks' answer to the popularity of the Altra Lone Peak shoes in the last few years over their Cascadia.  They have gaiter traps on the back and a slightly wider toe box than most shoes, though it doesn't come close to the width on Altras.  The heel toe drop is the same as my favorite trail shoes, the Pearl Izumi Trail N2.  I was hoping they would be a good alternative since Pearl Izumi has stopped making running shoes.

Then I went to Trader Joe's for resupply.  It was nice because I got some different things.  Then I went to Big Lots for Ziploc bags.  I called Laura, they were still running errands so I sat down on the patio furniture on display out front and relaxed.  I think I was helping because several people looked at them while I was there.  Eventually a store manager came out and told me I couldn't loiter there.  So, I loitered in a patch of grass in the parking lot instead.  I started to get bored, so I decided to go into PetSmart and look at the critters.  Hello, kitties!  That's when my ride came back and called me.  They had picked up some visitors, two young women whose parents are close friends of theirs and on vacation.  We rode back to the ranch, talking the whole way.  One girl was busy drawing on her tablet and the other was engaged in the conversation.  Laura later said she was glad I was the first thru-hiker they met.

We got back to the ranch after dinner, so I ate some of my food.  Then I sorted my resupply on the porch table in while most of the hikers turned in for the night.  It was dark when I finished and then I went to sleep.


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