This feels like the never ending trail section, and even after a 27 mile push today from Walker Pass I’m still 23 miles from Kennedy Meadows. I haven’t had signal for four days now which is obviously frustrating as I can’t post any of the blog entries I’ve written since the crazy wind storm leaving Tehachapi.
I’m lying in my tent for the first time since the crazy thunder storm I was caught in departing Big Bear. I’m camping alone tonight and after coming across a bear on the trail today I feel I need some protection from the wilderness. The bear was very young and although I wasn’t scared of it, I was terrified its mum was going to come around the corner and attack me.
The day started with trail magic and Yogi cooking us pancakes. I managed to eat five and wash them down with coffee made by Meadow Ed who I only learned today was the man in Cheryl Strayed’s book ‘Wild’ who goes through her monster pack and helps her lighten it. He has been doing trail magic in Kennedy Meadows for over a decade which is how he got his name, but now he goes to Walker Pass because it’s a campground with no accessible water and it’s in the middle of a huge dry stretch. I can’t thank everyone who was helping out there enough for looking after us so well.
I left camp after breakfast at 6:30am and started with a huge climb out of Walker Pass. I was soon overtaken by UB, Phil and Henry on their 52 mile mission to Kennedy Meadows. I wonder how they’re doing. Honestly after 27 miles my feet completely gave up despite so many encouraging massages along the way to even get me here. I did do the first 19 miles in my camp sandals because of my new blisters but went back to shoes for the last stretch because of all the sharp stones on the trail today.
I think we all got a little too comfortable in the desert today skipping one of the water sources 1/4 mile off trail to go 19 miles to a stream which was barely running. On top of that me and many other hikers today only left camp with about 3 litres and with so much climbing in the heat of the day we were pretty dry by the time we reached the muddy stream.
Because my water pump had broken, UB had left behind one of his litre bottles of water for me and his big 4L Platypus with Dingo and Mud. I was so very thankful but at the same time concerned with how much water he’s carrying on this huge dry stretch. The water report is a little outdated because it said the stream was flowing well but it’s obviously dried up a lot since then. I’m worried about the herd of hikers behind us who will really struggle with water through this stretch.
I cooked Ramen noodles and salmon for lunch/dinner while I was at the stream and a few more hikers caught up including two girls I met on Day 1. Despite the heat I left the stream at 4:30pm with the aim of doing at least another 7 miles so I have the same distance to do again tomorrow to get to Kennedy Meadows. Dingo, Mud and most of the other hikers today stopped at the top of the ridge about 5 miles back so I’m very much alone out here tonight. After seeing the bear, then a baby snake and having a bee fly into my shirt I’m on higher animal alert than normal but am looking forward to a good night sleep with no wind at all. It’s actually deathly silent which means I can hear everything moving outside the tent. I just freaked out at something scratching outside. Time to turn out the lights!