It was a challenging start to the day with exhaustion still lingering from yesterday and the cold temperature outside my tent at 4:30am in the morning. There were 16 trail miles and a 13 mile hitch standing between me and the Post Office in Independence, and from what I’d heard from other hikers, a huge amount of uphill climbing. Unfortunately they were right.
This time I was up well before UB, but I managed to coax him out of his warm tent so we could head up the steep morning climb together. On the first climb I was so out of breath and dizzy that I had to kneel down to stop the head spins, but after some breakfast and once I was warmed up, my body started to cooperate.
The stunning views along the Bullfrog Lake Trail heading to Kearsage Pass made the morning move quickly. The lakes in this area are pristine and I was suddenly envious of all the day and section hikers who can spend more time soaking up the beauty of this environment.
The climb up Kearsage was long, it felt more challenging than Forrester because of the steepness and length of the climb. I was so satisfied once we reached the top, but little did I know that the trail leading down was about four times as long and that we’d have to climb back up that way with 7 days of food on Sunday. Yikes!
Half way down to the Onion Valley trail head we passed a couple coming up the trail who stopped and asked of we were UB and Muk Muk. We were stunned and soon discovered that they were the owners of the motel that Blondie had contacted on our behalf and organised a lift for us. Stryder and Doug said they would be up and back by the time we reached the base of the trail and sure enough they even passed us before we reached the bottom.
They took us directly to the post office where I picked up three packages, and then onto the Chevron where I had another three packages waiting. It felt like Christmas! I had my resupply box, a package from Xy with spam, Darn Tough socks and moleskin (thank you!), a package from BJ with my iPod, treats and some liquor I’ll be taking to celebrate reaching the top of the pass (thank you!), a new Ice Breaker t-shirt from beautiful Sylvie so I’ll no longer stink my way down the trail (thank you!), a care package from Penny with our old time chocolate Vice Versa treats and a beautiful letter (thank you!), and my new insoles from REI!
In the evening UB’s mum Sherrie arrived with his puppy Bernard. We scoped out the Independence nightlife but couldn’t find a place to eat after 8:30pm and opted to cook up some trail food at the motel.