July 3 &4: The PCT, I have learned, is significantly more expensive than the AT. Nowhere was this truer than in South Lake Tahoe. At no time was this more true than on July 4th weekend.
When I arrived on July 2, I was able to secure a moderately cheap motel room. It had all the charm of a serial killer's lair. But it had a working shower and clean smelling sheets. ( though the same cannot be said of the carpet) hey- it was a home base where I could wash off the trail grime, air out the pack, and repack all my resupply items from the grocery store.
Unfortunately, the price of the hovel increased significantly on Friday, July 3rd, and while I understand the whole supply and demand concept, I could not justify paying $300 for a place I was highly suspicious was infesting my backpack with bedbugs.
And so began my search. Apparently, $300 was merely the jumping off point. Motel 6 and the Econolodge were closer to $400. The casinos across he border in Nevada were quoting 700-800! And just when I was wrapping my head around the idea that I wasn't going to get my zero day after all, I walked across the street to the time-shares and snagged a luxury time share for $200! Still more than I wanted to pay, but much more reasonable than anything else.
With all the hikers in town, I figured it would be easy to find somebody to share a sleeps-4 place with a pool, hot tub, free laundry, full kitchen and breakfast included. But strangely, everyone seemed intent on staying at the "cheap" $50 per person campsite. And so the trip gets more expensive!
But really, every so often, I just wanted to sleep in a bed. With pillows. And let my gear air out. And not have to worry about the rain. In the end,I knew I had made the righ decision. Because this happened:
The rain abated in time for the fireworks, and I walked down to the lake to watch. But it was an absolute zoo near the lake. And after witnessing a girl in jean shorts, cowboy boots, and a "Red White and Wasted" tank top lose her cookies whilst scream-singing the lyrics to "Proud to be an American" as she stood on tailgate of a pickup truck. (Oh, honey, "proud" is NOT part of your vocabulary tonite. Not with the chunks in your hair) and then stepping in a pile of what I can only imagine was the rest of the chunks, I decided to go back to the hotel and watch the fireworks from the roof-deck. Yeah, this was one time I was not happy about my socks-with-crocs footwear choice.
No worries- the roof deck was a fantastic viewpoint. And so much closer to my bed. Where I headed directly after the finale.
Independence Day -- freedom to do absolutely nothing!