Is it even a zero if you walk all the way across town?

Day 14: Zero in Big Bear Lake

May 16, 2019

After a rainy walk to the grocery store for a resupply with T-Pain and Casper, I spent most of the day forcing myself to eat food (in order to maintain my weight, I am eating roughly 4,000 calories per day while on the trail and even more while in town. Soon I will aim for 5,000 per day on trail) and walking the streets of Big Bear in search of new shoes and insoles. My old Asics running shoes and Superfeet insoles wore out so completely in the last 150 miles that the ball of my left foot began to go numb on the walk into Big Bear Lake.

Amazingly, in a town of outdoors-oriented people, the best sporting goods stores available are a bait and tackle shop and a Big 5.

I spent the morning in a sour mood, trying on shoes at the Big 5, looking for a trail runner version of the Asics road runners I have worn exclusively for the last 3 years. After a fruitless hour, I made the 45 minute walk to the Outdoor Sporting Goods store on the other side of town, only to realize they specialized in fishing gear and snowboards. I asked to look at their shoes and was directed to a wall of Vans.

As I moped my way back towards the AirBnB, I wondered how numb my feet might be by the time we arrived in Wrightwood, 105 miles up-trail.

On a whim, I stopped into a ski shop and asked about insoles. To my delight, they carried Superfeet, and happened to have one last pair in my size.

Feeling lucky, I made a second appearance at the Big 5, and sheepishly asked the same employee who had pulled 6 pairs of shoes for me a few hours ago if he would check in the back for any wide Asics trail runners he might have missed on the first go around. He brought out one pair, apologizing that he only had the shoes in one size.

When I tried them on, they felt perfect: a familiar fit with a slightly stiffer sole and a more rugged tread. The shoe was deeply discounted, and I walked out of the store grinning.

With my resupply complete and my footwear quandry resolved, I headed back to the AirBnB to ingest a couple thousand more calories before bed.

Heading to the promised land: a grocery store. Sometimes a zero just makes sense…like when it’s 40° and raining…

Rest, ice, and calories are three essential ingredients for a perfect zero day.

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