The Intermission

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This blog post documents our “Intermission”, 10 days off the PCT to attend a wedding and a few other bits and pieces around.

Day 79 (Continued): Travelling from the PCT to Reno

We walked away from the Sierra City village to reach a good spot for hitching.

In such a small town with not much traffic we knew hitching would be difficult. Despite this, a surprising number of cars drove past us, but unfortunately none seemed interested in picking us up. After what seemed like a long time – maybe half an hour – an old pick-up truck pulled over. Once again we laid in the bed of the truck and watched the sky pass by as we whizzed down the road.

The driver dropped us at a highway junction where we could hitch to Truckee. Cashmere gave the driver some money to say thank you and we found what seemed like a good spot on the highway for more hitching.

Hitching to Truckee proved far more difficult than getting out of Sierra City. Despite plenty of cars passing us, no one was interested in contaminating their cars with hiker trash. That was until ANOTHER old pick-up truck pulled over for us. This one had a very nice mountain bike on the back so Physio was installed in the front seat to talk biking.

It turned out the driver had been riding all day and was on his way home to Truckee…Perfect!


We were headed to Reno where rental cars are cheaper. We arrived in Truckee early enough to book a bus to Reno for that evening. While we waited for the bus we arranged a rental mountain bike for Physio for the next day, booked the Reno rental car to go to Bend, and booked the Greyhound bus to Reno.  When we booked the bus to Reno, the woman working at the visitors centre informed us that there was a casino a few blocks from the Reno Greyhound station that we could stay at for $27/night. So we booked ‘the Sands’ Casino and ate some New England style seafood while we waited for our bus. Cashmere was in heaven.

We boarded the Greyhound bus to Reno around 9pm. When we disembarked in Reno we could see our cheap casino hotel glowing at us, beckoning us in. The lights also made us feel like we were having a seizure and there were a few ‘interesting’ guests there. But overall it was clean and felt safe (unlike some places in Reno we would discover).

So seizure-inducing

Day 80: Reno/North Star

In the morning Physio took the rental car to North Star resort for a day of chair lift assisted downhill mountain biking action. It was sweet. Meanwhile Cashmere did our laundry in Reno, got a few clothes from the op-shop for the wedding week in Bend, encountered many meth or heroin addict beggars and unhealthy looking people that she was a little scared of and concerned for, and caught up on some internet-based tasks.

Classy Reno competing for loaning firearms

When Physio returned to Reno in the evening, we headed for an all-you-can-eat sushi made-to-order restaurant with great reviews. The $22 deal also included a bunch of appetisers, so we absolutely WENT TO TOWN! We may be a bit nervous that we put them out of business after eating approximately $250 worth of sushi. Physio in particular seemed rather insatiable. After who knows how many rolls Cashmere said she was pretty full and started having only about 1/8th of each additional roll. But Physio’s tummy kept burning so despite the hesitation by the waitress we kept ordering.

Finally the kitchen was closing down soon. As we (but mostly Physio) chowed down a huge deep fried roll, Physio made a call: his stomach still burned so he ordered two more rolls. Then all of a sudden all of the sushi he’d been pounding set in. We were both stuffed. But….if you didn’t eat all the sushi you had to pay for what you didn’t eat separately. Fair enough. But hikers are unemployed and thus typically try to save money. What kind of hikers would pay extra for sushi they didn’t eat? So we accepted the challenge.

Then we both exploded (okay not really but Physio looked like he was going to cry).

Physio after the sushi incident

Much laying on a bed and eventually sleep ensued.

Day 81: Chico

The next morning we started making our way toward Bend for the wedding of our great friends, Lora and Andrew.  It was Cashmere’s birthday (July 1) and she kind of wanted to go to Chico. She had heard good bits and pieces about the town including that lots of almonds and fruit were grown around there so you could get lots of really delicious fresh produce and for real cheap, that it was home to the Sierra Nevada Brewery, and that it was a bit of a funky college town. 

Basically all that was said was true. We stopped at some delicious farm stands and ate lots of berries, got to pick fresh delicious red grapefruit in town and observed a ton of other fruit trees everywhere. We went to the Sierra Nevada Brewery which had delicious food and beer plus a multitude of cool sustainable practices in place, and it was cheap! Not to mention they brought Cashmere a slice of brownie as a birthday present.

Keg bike parking at the Sierra Nevada Brewery
Cashmere very happy on her birthday in front of the Sierra Nevada Brewery

We could see much evidence of the funky town nature but didn’t have time to check it out more thoroughly as we still had a lot of driving to do the next day. Overall Chico was everything Cashmere had hoped for on her birthday.

Days 82-83: Pre-wedding activities

We made the seven hour drive to Bend, Oregon. More specifically, Physio drove for seven hours while Cashmere shovelled him food and occasionally napped. Cashmere was without a drivers licence, since her Australian licence had expired while we were travelling.

We were in a hurry to make it to Bend in time for Andrew’s bachelor party, which started at the Deschutes Brewery. Delicious!

The bachelor party was a fairly mellow affair. However, in time honoured tradition the groom to be got severely inebriated. Physio meanwhile was the sober driver, and despite Andrew’s state he still somehow navigated us home better than a much more sober Lora. It was weird.

Lora enjoying her rival hen's do
Tim Garlick over from NZ and showcasing American fare

The next day was primarily spent getting groceries for our resupply, and preparing for and attending the rehearsal dinner barbeque.

Day 84: Lora and Andrew’s wedding

The following day (July 4) was the wedding day. Lorelei had a great time getting ready with the bride and other bridesmaids. Lora really has great taste in friends. The wedding was lovely, the bride and groom looked wonderful, and the ceremony and reception were perfect. It really tested the status of our wedding as the (self-proclaimed) ‘best wedding ever’.

The wedding ceremony
The groom serenading the bride

After the reception, when the band stopped playing for a while, we had our time to shine. With the formal proceedings finished, we serenaded the bride and groom (and the wedding guests) with a rap we had written. Lora and Andrew knew Lorelei would be performing, but Jacob came up as a surprise guest and put on his hiking clothes for the occasion.

The remainder of the evening was mostly spent dancing. However,  singing renditions of The Star Spangled Banner, God Defend New Zealand, and a surprise haka were also features. We also enjoyed that they had lots of cheese wheels for late night snacking, rather than a wedding cake.

The first dance
Impromptu haka

Days 85-89

After the wedding night we slept in a little too late (real beds are amazing), had some breakfast, went shopping for a meal we would be cooking in a few days, and headed out to a some luxury lake houses that Lora and Andrew had arranged for a large number of us to hang out at for the next four days.

The houses and company were awesome! We had an extravagant king size bed where Jacob and I (Cashmere) had to holler to one another the beds were so big! We had a huge en-suite bathroom that was significantly larger than our kitchen in Melbourne and each house had its own massive jacuzzi. It was way more luxurious than hiker trash like us expected, but so comfortable and great nonetheless.

Lora and Andrew’s friends are amazing. Many of them were already our friends too, so of course we liked them, but the others were also really cool. There was an amazing ‘American Glitterbomb’ party where we dressed up in American garb and/or sparkly things and went from luxury house to luxury house trying the house’s signature cocktails and then we had a huge awesome dance party.

Andrew's siater Kat had no problem rocking the american glitter style despite her kiwi heritage

Throughout the four days by the lake, small groups of people took turns cooking for everyone else. Man did we have some goooood meals and as hikers, we excelled at helping with the leftovers. There was also a fair amount of beer and other booze left over from the wedding that needed drinking. Physio stayed pretty busy with mountain-biking, swimming laps of the lake and such and didn’t immediately put back on heaps of weight. However, Cashmere knew she would soon be hiking again everyday and got a bit more involved with just chilling, though she did get a little exercise here and there. There were stand-up paddle boards that Lorelei jousted with others on (and she wasn’t bad), kayaks, and fishing gear. She even caught a few trout and went tubing.

Overall it was great, maybe a little too great. We didn’t miss the trail as much as we probably should have (especially Cashmere) so we were a little nervous that we wouldn’t actually be happy to get back on the trail. But eventually it was time to say goodbye.

Getting back on the trail shouldn't be so bad
Not a bad day to be driving rather than hiking with hail and thunderstorms

Days 89-90

We again drove the long journey down to Reno (but actually only Jacob could drive) to return the rental car. Luckily there were a few good sites on the way back to the trail though we did tune into some pretty bizarre/outright scary radio shows in remote northern California.

Welcome back to kind of weird Reno

We actually got in so late that we returned to the glowing ‘Sands’ casino hotel. But we didn’t take on the sushi challenge again though we had talked about it.

Once again Reno was kind of weird with many casinos, druggie-sorts (maybe universal healthcare would help provide addiction treatment?) and such. It was a good push for us to want to get the heck back to the trail.

After a sleep, returning the rental car, the post office finding our important package with our repaired tent in the knick of time, we took the Greyhound bus back to Truckee and hitched back up to Sierra City. We were very lucky to get picked up fairly quickly (again by a truck) and back to the trail.

Our real hiking adventure documentation will return in the next blog so stay tuned and thanks again for reading!