I wake late, although “late” for me these days means around 8:30. I also wake well-rested, even though I know that there’s a long day ahead of us, doing all sorts of town maintenance-type things. I enjoy the luxury of bed for a while, then it’s off and up and into the day.
Gary offers up his laptop so I can get my work done for Backpacker a little more quickly; I pop in and out of his conversation with Pineapple occasionally, because I’m trying to be present, too. Breakfast is scrambled eggs with feta and pepperoncinis, paired with English muffins – so tasty and filling.
Eventually, it’s chore time, and what chores they are – we go to get the tickets for Hamlet before it’s off to The Big Box Store That Shall Not Be Named1 for four stops’ worth of resupply. Then we head to the REI for new shorts for Pineapple; I stay in the car and arrange my resupply into piles for boxes. Then it’s off to the post office to get and actually mail those boxes – or, at least, most of them – before heading home for a well-deserved nap. Gary’s driven us all over the Ashland “metro” area, but he’s happy to have given us a day out of his life. There are such good people in the world.
After the nap, it’s more chores – I get new Altras from Ashland Mountain Provisions, pick up my stove, lately arrived at the Ashland post office, and manage to drop off my old shoes in the UPS drop box across the street. And then, no more chores! Hooray!
We try to stop for coffee at a schfancy coffee place that Pineapple wants to check out, but it turns out to juuuust be closed. Oops. I feel pretty terrible, but we manage to find another place nearby, where I opt for chai instead of coffee. I have another chai at Taj Indian Cuisine, which is the best Indian food I’ve had in a long time – the fact that I’ve been hiking for nearly three and a half months notwithstanding. We pay for Gary’s meal because it’s the only thing he’ll let us pay for.
We walk Lithia Park to kill the brief amount of time we have before the show – pretty rad that all this green space is in the middle of the city. Then it’s the pre-show with music and an aerial dancer:
And then, Hamlet, in the “First Elizabethan Theatre” built like the Globe in the US as the sun sets and the bats come out to play. The production is the best interpretation I’ve ever seen of Shakespeare’s longest work2. Dirt Squirrel wanders into the balcony during intermission; she treated herself to a ticket, and she’s a Shakespeare nerd, too, and we basically spend the entire intermission raving about the production while Gary and Pineapple look on in amusement. While they were unenthused about the first three-and-change acts, they love the ending, so we all rave about it on the way back to Gary’s. It’s pretty great.
By the time we make it back it is so, so past our bedtime. Pineapple wants to be on trail by 9am – which means being awake by 7am. Oof. I was only trying to do 18-odd miles tomorrow, but she got dragged along with me, and I’m not about to inconvenience the magnanimous Gary, so here goes nothing, I guess. I settle in for a short night, worried about the heft of my pack and the weight of the exhaustion I’m going to have to bear tomorrow.
Date: August 16 • Start: 1716.2 • End: 1716.2 • Day: 0
Notable Accomplishments: Actually got everything done • Indian fooood • Shakespearrrrre
 Wal-Mart Supercenter is cheap, even if I don’t like their business practices.
 As an English major in college – and as a Shakespeare nerd in general – I have seen Hamlet many, many times. I got new things out of this production and these performances that I’d never put together before. I’m so, so thankful to have gotten to see this production.