0 Miles; 0 Feet of Gain; Alpine, AZ
Janna and I both love the rest and recharge that comes with Zero Days. Especially when we can get to see a local area better. We awoke after a solid's night sleep to what was forecast to be a tempestuous day based on the weather forecast - lots of rain and significant thunderheads. We were grateful to have some indoors to relax in.
We walked over in the early morning to the Bear Wallow Café (such good breakfast food) as a steady patter of rain began to fall. The skies were blue and only puffy clouds intermittent. It was one of those rains that seem to fall from the cloudless blue above. And with the light shining through the forest, everything green with summer's new growth, that curtain of drizzling water just looked spectacular.
I asked the server at Bear Wallow Café about the liklihood of resupply options at Big Lake, as I hadn't yet confirmed the size of the "general/tackle/bait store" there. Despite earlier interactions with the diner's patronage/employees that seemed affronted by my floral-wear, the server suddenly became a protective mother hen telling me that she would come get us if we ran into trouble or bring us food wherever we were out on our ride. That sudden gift of kindness was awesome, and she quickly gave us her phone (despite the "no cell phone" rules posted everywhere) to show us photos of the area. The interaction was welcome humanity.
After breakfast, Janna and I sauntered over to both grocery stores where we purchased all food for lunch today and for the next three days until we got to Big Lake. Laden with bags, snacks, and relaxed, we walked back to the Aspen Lodge admiring the verdant meadows strewn across the valley of Alpine. Once at the Lodge, we finished up the last chores, and I called my parents to catch up and relay the trip so far. As predicted, a massive series of intense thunderstorms rolled-in mid-afternoon throwing lightning and torrential downpours everywhere. We merely sat under the awnings and relaxed to the smell of rain.
Janna and I decided mid-afternoon to walk back to town for an early dinner; unfortunately, as is the case with small towns at times, every single restaurant was closed. We opted for gas station/general store in order to grab some vegetarian burritos, fruit, and a few snacks. We set up shop in the main shared-space of the lodge (since no one else was a guest at the time), made our food in the kitchenette, and hunkered down to watch back-to-back films: Back to the Future Parts II and III. Movies complete, bellies full, we headed to bed for an early night's sleep before waking up early tomorrow to start our ride down to Blue.