I’m cowboy camping under a huge rock up the hill from at least 7 other hikers tonight, 15 miles from Kennedy Meadows. It was definitely one of the more stressful ‘town’ stops with so much to rethink and prepare for the Sierras and very little time to rest.
I was so thankful Dr Sole was there, not only to look after my feet but also for my sanity. His motorhome and shaded sitting area became my home to eat, sit and repack my pack at least 20 times. I got lucky twice yesterday jumping in on the last laundry cycle with Mud and Dingo before the water ran out and I even scored myself a bed in one of Tom’s caravans with Mermaid!
In the afternoon I bumped into John, the local guy with wifi, so UB and I were able to get some of our posts and videos out and check a few emails. The connection was slow so I wasn’t able to upload all of my posts or videos but I was happy to make some kind of contact with the outside world. Sadly it’s going to be at least another 7 days until I get connection in Independence.
I slept well in the trailer bed but woke with the sun and was actually lucky to get to Dr Sole’s in time to snag the last two breakfast burritos. Afterwards I checked on UB who was in need of more rest and food before departing into the Sierras. This left me with the tough decision of staying one more day in KM or heading out solo. In the end I decided I just couldn’t sit around for another day with the anxiety of the Sierras building and left for the trail just after 10am.
My pack is super heavy with a bear canister, ice axe and extra clothing. I don’t need the ice axe but I couldn’t send it to Canada from the KM store so I decided just to carry it with me to Independence. I’ve put my sleeping bag in the bear canister and carry it on top of my pack. It fell off twice today, luckily not over a steep ridge or I would have lost two very important items. I’m working on a better way to secure it.
I had to stop a lot today because of the weight of my pack and about 6 miles in I found a shady spot under a tree and actually slept for about an hour. I obviously needed a little more rest than I thought. There were lots of hikers heading to the campsite 15 miles in so I didn’t feel rushed at all going that distance and had quite an enjoyable walk through some beautiful scenery. I saved two hikers a long walk back to the river by giving them a litre of my water and walked with another solo girl Katie for a while before hitting the last stretch into camp.
We’re right next to the Kern River so I got to wash my socks and feet before filling up water for myself, JT and Travis before making dinner around the campfire. It was the first time I actually ate my vegetable cous cous and I really liked it after adding a bit of mashed potato.
Before bed I started putting all my food in my bear canister and realised I should have tested it back in KM because it doesn’t all fit. I should also have my toothpaste and deodorant in there too… Eeeeek! Hopefully I’ll eat enough tomorrow so that I can squeeze it all in tomorrow night. I’ve put the canister on the other side of the rock I’m sleeping next to and have my ice axe in arms reach in case anything tries to attack me or my backpack. It’s a good thing I’m camping in a big group tonight!