Entering the Sierras from Kennedy Meadows
Another week, another 150 miles.
I arrived in Kennedy Meadows today, after passing the 700 mile marker this morning. This is the jumping off spot for the High Sierra section of the trail — I’ll be at Mt. Whitney just 3 or 4 days after hiking out of here.
I hiked much of this section of the trail last year on the John Muir Trail (JMT), and am looking forward to seeing everything from the other direction. My new 10 degree sleeping bag is supposed to arrive tomorrow, along with some other warm weather gear. I’ll be carrying a bear canister to protect the bears from my food, and micro spikes to walk on hard snow. We’ve had some hot weather the last few days here, so it sounds like the snow isn’t as high as it was a few days ago.
The last section from Tehachapi has been interesting. I kept up a fast pace for the first section to Walker Pass at mile 652, finishing Section F in 4 days. I was also incredible grumpy for the first half of that section, making those days some the hardest on the trail mentally. I think it was partly due to having just had to say goodbye to Russell again, getting tired of all the 23-25 mile days, and loneliness catching up with me.
Oh, and rain three days in a row. Sure am glad I switched to an enclosed shelter. Thanks Aiko!
Thankfully, after those rough days, I met up with some hikers who walk a similar pace to me, and have been hiking and camping with them since. We’ve also entered the Sierra-looking terrain, and my dust-weary eyes have been feasting on broadleaf oaks and fir trees.
The longer I’ve been on the trail, the more important the trail culture has become to me. Having this rotating community of people doing the same crazy thing as me makes the tough days a little easier. It has also become harder and harder to relate back to people in the Muggle world, as Sockpot called it. I like hearing support and encouragement from people, but I fear I’m becoming worse and worse at offering any back.
Friends and family, if you feel like our relationship has become one-sided, this is why. I will be a better friend again after I get to Canada. This hike is taking all the mental and emotional energy I have, and I’m determined to finish it, so that’s where my focus is going.
Hugs to all, and happy hiking. I may not be interacting, but I’m thinking of you!
Now off to the High Sierras, land of snow, marmots, and running water.
← Previous: Agua Dulce (mile 455) to Tehachapi (mile 559): Twenty percent done in Tehachapi, CA
→ Next: Kennedy Meadows (mile 702) to Kearsarge Pass/Bishop (mile 789): Out Kearsarge to Bishop, CA