Daily Miles: 8
Total Miles: 710
It was great to sleep in today. We didn’t get out of our hammocks until nearly 7:30, and that was just so Beardoh could get the pancake breakfast that was being served at the general store. SweetPea had a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for breakfast instead.
It was nice to just sit around and chat with the friends we have made on the trail so far. There were definitely a lot of people that we didn’t know, but that seems to be the norm in the trail this year.
It is amazing how quickly time can pass when we have time off from the trail. We always envision being able to take naps, read, just hang out in our hammocks doing nothing…but somehow the time flies by. A lot of the day was spent chatting with friends, but we also did laundry, took showers, sorted through the five packages we had received, and packed up our stuff.
Going into the Sierra Mountains, we are adding a few things to our packs….(1) We added in our headnets because the bugs are supposed to be bad at this time of year. In reality, we wish we had gotten our headnets over 200 miles ago, because the bugs have been really bad in some of the previous sections. (2) We have decided to carry our micro-spikes with us through the Sierras. They will help with traction when walking through snow which we expect to encounter. (3) We are also now carrying a bear canister as required in a lot of the Sierras. These canisters can be a bit awkward to carry because of their size and shape, but we had added special straps to our packs when we made them, so we can carry the canister on the top of our packs. While the headnet is almost weightless, the micro-spikes and bear canister together add 3-4 pounds to our load.
This afternoon we were excited to see Gazelle show up at Kennedy Meadows around 3:00pm. It was great to see her and to see that she is starting to feel better. We had an early dinner with her and it was good to see that her appetite is coming back. She and XC decided to stay at Kennedy Meadows tonight and head out tomorrow. We decided to head out at 5:00 this evening with MountainMan and Proton and we would all meet up again in about five days in Independence.
It was still warm when we headed out with bellies full of veggie burgers and ice cream. The walking was pretty flat for the first few miles and then started a very gradual ascent. We were treated to a beautiful sunset as we were still hiking. The sun colored all the clouds in the sky, so it was like we had a 360 degree sunset.
We ended up doing a few more miles than we had planned, but there was a stretch that didn’t have any campsites. Once we got to a nice spot, we set up camp quickly, ate a snack and now we’re all in our sleeping bags ready to go to sleep. We are happy to be starting the Sierra Mountains and are looking forward to the magic and beauty of this part of the trail.