Right now I’m laying in my fartsack(sleeping bag) about 30 miles past Kennedy Meadows at a really cool sandy campsite in Death Creek Canyon. I took a day off in KM yesterday and I had planned on updating this thing there but I had just too much stuff going on, plus I didn’t have any service so I figured I had a few more days to type this up before it reached the masses.
Getting to Kennedy Meadows is a pretty big deal for this hike, signifying the end of the desert and the beginning of the High Sierras. There’s a big general store there and everybody hangs out on the porch and camps out back. I spent 2 nights in a tipi there, and it was everything I had ever dreamed of and more. Really, it was wicked cool. We’re required to carry bear canisters through the Sierras so I got mine delivered in KM and then stuffed it with as much food as I could, hopefully enough to get me through 5 days.
The week leading up to KM was fun and hot and had lots of milestones: 600 miles, 700 miles, 1000 km, 1/4 of the trail, and 2000 miles to go. These are literally stone formations that mark miles, I’m pretty sure that’s how the term milestone came to be. Maybe not. My first day out of Mojave was my toughest on the trail so far. I don’t know if it was too many cheeseburgers and milkshakes, or if I just didn’t hydrate well while I was in town but I definitely felt like I had a kink in the armor that day. Unbeknownst to me, because I was dragging, my hiking crew(Boone, Malibu, and Speed) took it easy that day and called it a little earlier than normal. So that was nice. I took some Tryactin and rebounded nicely the next day, making up for lost time. The rest of the week was great. When we got to Walker Pass, trail angels Rita and Richard took about a dozen of us into their home, fed us spaghetti and provided hot showers and a cozy floor to crash out on. Super-duper rejuvenated, I made the final 50 miles to KM in a day and a half and even went for a little swim in the Kern River.
The Sierras are said to be the crown jewel of this hike and the desert is just an obstacle to get there. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the the desert and am excited about this next section. I can only imagine the High Sierras will live up to the hype.