I'm sitting here at Tom's Internet Cafe, a trailer in Kennedy Meadows that trail angel tom has filled with computers for hikers. In fact, Tom not only hosts hikers by letting them camp at his place, he also provides food, water, and even movies in an outdoor theater at night. Really great place, loving this trail magic. We're just a couple hundred yards from the Kennedy Meadows General Store, which is basically all this town is. Lots of hikers here, groups have been taking off daily to begin the long High Sierras stretch.
Afer leaving Tehachapi, we continued our long slow climb in the very windy mountains. Had another morning of rain after leaving a water cache, which was empty and we had been counting on it. Busted some 13 more miles to get to the next source. The mountains have been changing very quickly and it's definitely starting to feel like the Sierras. There was trail magic via Mamma Moab and Tom at Walker Pass and killed a few hours there drinking soda and beer and eating great food. Leaving Walker Pass was when the mountains really started to change and I found myself stuck out on a ridge, alone after leaving the trail magic late in the day. I had passed the marked campsites without knowing it and by 8pm, I found a very small spot perched on the ridge only big enough for just my sleeping bag. Terribly exposed all night to the wind, I woke up in thick clouds and misting rain. Not fun, but I met up with some other hikers later in the day and kept pushing. Two days ago, Happy Whale and I tried a 4am start which actually became more of a 5:50am start haha, to do the last 21 miles into Kennedy Meadows.
I think I will leave Kennedy Meadows tomorrow morning and head for the high Sierras. The last 20 miles in KM were extremely beautiful as the mountains changed quickly and we could see jagged, rocky, snow covered peaks in the far distance. It was so amazing to see those mountains off in the distance and yet very scary and surreal knowing we will be up there in a week. Word is that from here to the Mt. Whitney portal is fairly clear and easy. After that is when we get really high up and hit the highest point on trail, Forester Pass. Of course I will also be summiting Mt. Whitney that first day, to stand on top of the lower 48 yay! It's about 11 days between here and VVR, by far the longest stretch of the trail, through the most dangerous conditions on the trail. I'm doing it!
A little about some more of the hikers I've been with. Unfortunately Holden, who I've been hiking with the last few weeks, took time off in tehachapi to fly home and see his girl for a week. Same with General Zod, who went to the coast for a week with his. I lost Seattle Seth at Walker Pass, when he hitched in to Lake Isabella. So I've done a bit of solo hiking and camping for the past week or two and also met some great new people I've been hiking with. Happy Whale, Chris and Nicole, Chili, Pounder, 12 ounce, Gangster Rap, Collin, Stag, and One Step have been leap-frogged with the last few weeks. Here at Tom's, many old faces like Picker, Ben, Sam, Slapshot, Josh, Wandering Dot, David, and Rambo. I think we've got a pretty solid group heading out tomorrow. People have been just amazing so far, it's very easy to meet friends when you all have a common goal ha.
Don't know when I'll get a chance to post pictures. My camera cord is in my bounce which I accidentally mailed to the wrong stop and am in a sort of pickle now trying to figure out how to get it. Phone charger is in the box too and just some other things I didn't need but wanted. The logistics of this trail like packages, food, gear, and trying to plan it all so it works out, are very stressful and expensive. I love it when I'm just out on the trail, walking from one destination to another. It's great to just think and watch the incredible views pass by. I'm starting to feel very comfortable being out on the trail and in camp. And even though I miss you all at home greatly, the homesickness has passed. I still worry about things like water, food, shelter, and now snow and bears, but life is more simple here.
Well thanks for following friends, I love you all. This is a long stretch so you may not hear from me for awhile, I'll be okay. The high Sierras basically define what the PCT is all about and it will be amazing. Thanks guys