Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gateway to the Sierras!

Hey followers,
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


  1. Glad to hear you are doing so well. Hope you enjoy sitting on top of the highest point in the lower 48 states. That is very exciting. Enjoy the journey. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help out with the bounce box issue.


  2. Sounds like you have caught your stride and are doing well! That is good that you have made so many friends. It is hard to imagine that you walk that far each day! What a great system of trail magic. That must help a lot.
    Gail says,"Bearbait watch out for the bears!".
    We are thinking about you and bragging about you.
    Most of all have fun!
    See Ya.
    Alden and Gail

  3. Awsome!! man your so fast I missed you at Walker Pass was there Wedsday met other PCT through hikers at some shelter they had set up and I went to go bag some peaks in the area then came back down to talk again with them,I asked about you but they said they never heard of you so I figured you were already long gone I really wanted to meet you in person but oh well thats the way it goes as they say a day late and a dollor short. The Owens Pk Wilderness you went through the other day I was involved in alot of the blasting work to help construct that part of the trail in the late 80's and early 90's just thought you like to know but hey have fun you will love it up there and I will keep following via internet let us all know how the JMT went I plan on through hiking it next year.You will be hiking through a burnt forest at Clover Mdw which will not be a pleasent site but after that should be able to enjoy the most beautiful scenery in the nation. Good luck,have fun, thanks. HyltonHiker

  4. I intend on hiking the PCT next year. I found your blog through random PCT searching...and I hope to follow you along your journey. Thanks for taking time to post comments about your adventure. It is incredibly exciting to read! Hike Strong and Have Fun!
    Taking It All In,
    Stride (GAME '08)