Knock knock . . . . whos there?!
It was strange to think of how far I had already come. Over 25% of the trail complete and less than 2000 miles to go. I went over this in my head as I hit my alarm to a snooze. It got cold that night, just at 6800 ft, I could only think of sleeping in the Sierras above 11,000 ft and most likely on top of a patch of ice.
I was up and packed, saying by to the fellas and trodding off down the trail. The chill clung to the moring and it didnt help that I was trekking in the shadow of the moutnain all morning. I put my buff up over my face and trekked on through the pines. Down down down the trail went before I finally came across a creek for a water resupply.
I plopped down filtering a few liters as Cowboy, Sissyphus, and Ladybug came trekking in. We chatted and snacked, joking about the trail and chatting about how windy it was yesteray. Packing up once again we pushed off. Holding a good pace up the final hill of the day I smelled smoke. “Paul, do you smell that?!”. He laughed “Yup, just lit one up!” He was hiking behind me with a lit cigarette and I busted out laughing. Not only was he puffing away, but also holding pace like nobodys business!
Sissyphus pulled in behind and the 3 of us pressed the next few miles to the high point of the day where we first really got to see the snowcapped Sierras. We took it in, snapped pictures, and knew we were close to the Sierras doorstep. We trekked on, through the winding canyon that finally spit us out into the basin that lead to Kennedy Meadows. We stopped at a creek and kicked back for a nice relaxing hour break.
We got up and pushed the last 8.5 miles through the winding valley. It seemed that we were still in high desert and went in and out of patches of pines. We turned a corner and all of the sudden a gorgeous creek came audibilally and visually rushing into my life. It was crystal clear and gorgeous and accompanied the final miles in. Once I got to the road a burly man with a long white beard on a grey pickup truck answering to the name of Dave asked me if I wanted a ride. Soon Cowboy and Sissyphus came rambling in. Ladybug had already caught the last ride and was waiting for us at the general store when we arrived.
It was time for beer, burger, and rechanging the batteries. What a great day. Trekking all day just to come in and relax with friends and when you arrived everyone clapped giving you a heros reception. It wasn’t home, but it was a pretty decent concelation.
Horseie and Rooster (Alex) 25 from LA, hiking by horseback. He bought his mustang from the BLM for 125$ at Ridgecrest. He tamed him, himself and was all set to go for the long haul. He started in January of all months and had come off the trail twice waiting for snw to met. With a big smile and his full cowboy gear on Rooster gave me the rundown on Horsie and I petted his head and neak. What a cool way to trek the PCT!