Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Day 36 - Heading into the Sierras

Thursday, May 21

The snow is falling on my tent. It makes a soft but tinny sound. The ground is starting to turn white. It's easy to forget that it's still winter in the high country. 

My morning began as it started to get light, about 5:15. My challenge was to get the bear canister into my pack in a way that would still allow me to pack in everything else. I decided to put it at the bottom of my pack. With a lot of squeezing everything fit. Of course the pack is heavy with seven days of food!

I was headed towards the trail by 6. I got to finish eating a bag of Fritos on the way. They were yummy!

The trail followed the Kern River. I signed the trail register and entered Sequoia National Forest.
It was wonderful listening to the sound of running water. By mid morning the trail leveled off. There was a group of school kids on a field trip asking questions about my through hike. How long had I been hiking? Was I hiking alone?

The trail passed through an enormous meadow named Beck Meadow, and in the distance I could just make out snowy peaks. 
By noon the trail had topped out at 8,000 feet and was dropping back down where it would cross the Kern River. I needed to get water and it was a perfect place to cook lunch/dinner. Other hikers were already there doing the same thing. 
Double Happiness (Casey) arrived shortly after I did. We all ate and relaxed for a bit. There was a lot of discussion regarding how far to hike today, since the next ten miles or so take us over a mountain with the trail topping out at 10,500 feet. 

The trail wound through pine forests. There seemed to be a lot of chipmunks as well. Although I was the first to leave the river, it wasn't long before the rest of the group caught up and passed me. 
The younger generation really has an advantage when it comes to being able to sustain a pace uphill. 

By 4:30 I knew I wouldn't make it to the top, so I found a sheltered nook and set up my tent before it started snowing. 

It is amazingly quiet, now that it has stopped snowing. I can hear some sort of bird squawking in the distance. I should get a good rest unless I freeze. 

I am camped at PCT mile 722.5. The elevation here is 10,236 feet. 

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