My First Zero

Sunrise over stream as a push towards Big Bear
Boating on lake Big Bear

While on a thru hike, a “zero” is a day you don’t hike at all. I originally planned to take very few, if any, zeros but after a few hundred miles and two weeks of sleeping on the ground,my body vetoed my original plan. Luckily the next town I would reach would be Big Bear and it just so happened that our family friend and comedy writing legend Mike Rotman (Southpark, The Tonight Show, Politically Incorrect), owns a cabin there. After talking to him I realized that if I could make it from Idlewild to Big Bear in four days, the cabin would be unrented and I could stay there! The only problem is, that would mean I would have to average 25 miles per day for four days straight. That’s longer than I had backpacked in a day this entire trip continuously for four days. Although difficult, a warm bed and shower were all the motivation I needed to make it there on time. After four brutal days of backpacking I finally reached Big Bear and was able to take my first zero of the trail. The cabin and even the town were everything I dreamed of and I was able to spend the day going to a farmers market and boating on lake Big Bear. Early tomorrow it’s right back to the trail but now I am refreshed and ready to conquer the rest of the PCT. -Noel Nelson (mile 266)

During my first zero day, hung out with comedy writer, Mike Rotman

8 Replies to “My First Zero”

  1. There is no such thing as a zero day when you are in Gold Country. You might just happen upon that great nugget in your meanderings. As a member in good standing of the Billy Holcomb Chapter of E Clampus Vitus, I want to welcome you to our valley and wish you great prospecting for the next few days while passing through. Lucky Baldwin took more gold out of his claim per square foot than at any other claim in California. Be careful crossing Deep Creek as many a mule has been proven a poor swimmer there. We’ll keep an eye out for ya and are willing to share our grub if you don’t look to hard at our diggin’s. And again Welcome to Gold Country!

  2. Your smile in this picture makes me smile! Matisse, Jacqueline and I were talking about your adventure as we drove to school this morning. So amazed by you.

  3. Just discovered this blog. You are awesome Noel!!!! This is amazing! What an incredible experience! Looking forward to reading more. Stay safe 🙂

  4. You’re doing great Noel. Last year, by the time I had reached Big Bear, I had already done about 4 zeros 🙂

  5. Hi Noel

    Just watched your very over excited dad in a NAB interview promoting your walk. He’s very proud understandably.
    Love to do an interview with you when you have a few more weeks under your belt for my UK Outdoors Podcast if you’re up for it?
    Keep in touch and take care.

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