I feel like I’m driving though propaganda for the American West. The bus driver is playing inspirational music as we cruise down the highway. The swelling stings and drums make the mountains seem even more majestic.

We’re headed for Hostel California. Previously a B&B, it only opened 3 weeks ago in its current incarnation, and is already a total hiker vortex. Bishop is a great little town and very friendly towards hikers. We easily find the hostel. It's still early and Prometheus, Terrible, Horrible, and Tink are the only ones awake. They warn us about the hostel's vortexiness. It’s a three day minimum. Even if you want to leave, you won’t.



Four days pass and we force ourselves onto the bus. I’m feeling sick. I vomited the night before and now my legs ache. It feels like the flu, but I HAVE to get away from the hostel. I fear I’ll end up living in Bishop.

When we arrive back in Independence, I’m feverish, nauseous, and achy. I can’t hike. 11 and I go back to the Courthouse Motel. It’s about a billion degrees outside, so we close all the curtains and crank the AC. There’s a Bourne movie on TV. I’m totally happy to watch a good looking badass attempt to find his true identity in a cool room while lying on a comfy bed.