Daily miles 22
Total miles 702
Big day today. We made it to Kennedy Meadows!
KM is a true milestone for hikers as it is the definitive line in the sand between desert and the Sierra mountains, as most of us picture them (the Sierra range officially start about 120 miles back when leaving Mojave/Tehachapi, but it is still pretty much desert in that section) North of here, we will gain elevation quickly and be doing big Mountain passes on a daily basis and hiking quite regularly over 10,000 feet.
It was warm sleeping last night and the heat was upon us quite early. We had an 8 mile climb straight away and even at 8am it felt very warm.
Seemed to be a lot more hikers during today’s stretch of Trail. We saw Flash, Yvonne and Stefan, Cowgirl and probably 15 others.
We had a good distance from camp to our first water in the morning, but it was a wonderful piped spring that was flowing super strong. Later in the day we came to the Kern River where we dipped into the water and did a little laundry. It was the first naturally moving that was deep enough for us to put our feet into for several hundred miles.
We walked much of the latter part of the day with Mtn Man. Mt Man explained a lot of his work with IBM while we walked, and it was interesting to learn about his career and work on computer chip innovation.
We rolled into Kennedy Meadows at about 4:40 and got our applause from the hikers who were already there. We each bought two sodas and split a Gatorade. They tasted so good! At the store we caught up to Proton and XC. There were probably 40 – 50 hikers hanging around outside the store. Very bustling.
Since we were using a bear canister (required for the upcoming section) that is part of the bear can loan program, which is run out of the Grumpy Bear restaurant, we headed down there when the owner came to take hikers there for dinner. We enjoyed our burgers and fries.