I have some ideas about getting food at town stops that may help some thru-hikers. We'll look at the tiny tourist town of Julian, CA as an example. There is a gas station with mostly junk food, two small groceries, and a nuts store.
Eat while in Julian: (ideally split into 2 meals)
- loaf of whole-wheat bread
- two sticks of butter
- head of lettuce
- several tomatoes
- an apple or two
- block of cheese OR cottage cheese
Yum! Lots of fat, complex carbs, and even some vegetables. I just bite into the head of lettuce as if it were an apple. All this can be found at the 2 groceries. A quicker, but decently healthy option is:
- box of generic whol-grain bran flakes
- half-gallon of whole milk
- a few bananas
- an orange
Don't miss the nut shop!! It has tons of high-calorie, high-fat goodies:
- nuts (sweetened and plain)
- banana chips
- awesome home-style granola
- all sorts of chocolatey, nutty stuff
At the groceries you can get:
- whole-wheat bread
- cream cheese
- expensive, "crummy" calories like instant noodles, potato flakes, etc.
There are a number of places to eat out. Ask for a local's recommendation before choosing a place to eat!!