After all those days of hiking, you can imagine my clothes and I weren’t sparkly clean, so the morning after getting back to the Valley I set out to remedy that.
It must have been pretty bad, because the guy manning the entrance to the Curry Village showers told me I could go shower for free. Next, I hit the laundry and soon after I could once again appear in public without fear of being mistaken for a mud farmer.
The following important task was eating! Those 7 kilograms I had lost needed to be replenished. I got a bunch of food for on the road at the Yosemite Village store and then headed towards San Francisco. While having dinner in Pleasanton, about an hour from SF, I decided I really wasn’t up for spending the night in either my bivy or the car, so I treated myself to two nights in a decent hotel nearby.
Those next two days were awesome: lots of sleeping, laying in bed, watching movies, eating chocolate and candy all day long, having soda and chocolate for breakfast, stuffing myself with delicious Mediterranean food. Aaah, good times!
But all things must come to an end. So on July 25th, day 147, having checked out as late as possible, I drove to the southern part of the Bay. I was hoping to find a campsite in one of the forests there, but alas, it was Saturday evening and every site I checked was reserved.
Eventually I settled for a night in a Denny’s parking lot in Sunnyvale, but not before treating myself to yet another big and delicious Mediterranean dinner. Hmm, bring on those kilos :).
Tory, whom I had met earlier in Yosemite and who works for Google, had invited me to come have lunch with her on Monday. The only problem was that even though my clothes had been washed, they were still full of smears and smudges that didn’t seem to go out.
Time to go shopping! I spend all Sunday in two Macy stores and got myself a fancy looking set of clothes. Total overkill, but since I only have the one suit at home, a second one wouldn’t hurt. Also: up to 80% discounts, huray!
Early next morning, I hit a swimming pool, so I could get myself cleaned up. I was ready for my visit to Google. The place was pretty awesome: amazing view over the Bay, great free buffet, coffee bar, etc. It was fun catching up with Tory and her friend who had also come over to enjoy lunch. Hearing about me sleeping in the car, she suggested I check out a great campground just north of the Golden Gate bridge.
Turns out that the site was reservation only and no more spots could be reserved for the day. I continued north to a walk-in campground, but upon seeing that all I would get for $25/night was a tiny little campsite and a drop toilet, I decided I was better off sleeping in the car. After all those nights in it, I have perfected my car sleeping and actually get a better night’s sleep in it than in my bivy.
The following day, July 28th, I whiled away watching movies, writing blog posts and getting the car serviced. I was really just waiting for evening to set in. You see, Tory had brought me into contact with Will, who is building a construction for the Burning Man festival (I suggest you look that up if you don’t know about it). Will had no problem with me coming over and so I spend the evening helping out grinding and drilling metal, and drinking beers of course. Can’t use power tools without beers ;). Lots of fun doing some DIY stuff after all those months of travelling!
Will offered me a spare matress for the night at his place, so I got some quality sleeping as well. As we were discussing cool places to visit, he suggested Emigrant Wilderness, a huge area just north of Yosemite, which is completely free, has lots of beautiful nature and great fishing. My original plan was to head to Lake Tahoe, but there would probably be a ton of tourists there, and so it was decided: Emigrant Wilderness, here I come!