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Begins: Apr 26, 2009
Date: Tue, Jun 2nd, 2009
Start: Kennedy Meadows
End: Mile 721 on the trail
Daily Distance: 19
Trip Distance: 208.0
Entry Visits: 2,358
Journal Visits: 161,460
Guestbook Views: 48,578
Guestbook Entrys: 194
Day 37- Sierras
Later last night Silverfox let me know that she wouldn't be able to leave with me since she was going to help Boomer and Hector make breakfast burritos for the group. I planned on leaving around 7 am. But I slept chilly last night and I was sleeping in a trailer. I talked to D the day before about preparing for the Sierras (she's an Outward Bound instructor and knows the Sierras); her advice: warm clothes and fire were the 2 most important things to have in the Sierras. Last night was the first night I wore my new down pants that I ordered and had mailed to me in KM. I woke up and talked to Party Foul and told him my dilemna: I want to leave to start hiking but I put my merino wool long johns in my bounce box gave it to Leona at the KM store last night to mail, but the store doesn't open until 9 am- it seems like a long time to wait before hitting the trail. He said: "Just wait and get the warmer clothes out of your box. It's only 2 hours and you know you'll want those warmer clothes." (Crazy story: Leona and Al own the KM General Store and they graduated from Princeton High School, which is a small town by Elk River in Minnesota, so we had a good laugh about that! They are great people).
While waiting for the General Store to open, a group of about 12 hikers drove down a mile or so to Irelan's for breakfast. It's run by a guy out of his house (I think it was his house). It took awhile, but the breakfast was good- definitely homestyle cooking. I think it was almost 10 am by the time I got back from breakfast and the store was open. Leona was so sweet, she gave me my bounce box to re-open. I talked to Joker, Raffiki and Buckwheat about preparing for the Sierras. Raffiki was really worried about me heading out in just sandals, but I explained that my shoes that I sent to myself to KM were too small- my feet have swollen a whole size (way more than anticipated) and that I couldn't see hitching 2 days back the 125 miles back to Bakersfield to get shoes when I was going to meet my friend 100 miles up the trail (4-5 days from now) and she'd take me to town to get new shoes so these sandals only needed to last me until then. Plus I had vapor barrier socks (kind of like plastic socks to keep feet warm and dry). We talked about the weather and Joker did this trail last year and was certain there'd be no rain in the Sierras so I could take my cotton skirt with me too. I felt good after talking to these guys.
So I opened my box, took out more warm clothes, closed the box up again and headed on my way. I was so quick doing it that I didn't get to say good-bye to Lucky Larry and the other guys/gals, although I did see Reddy and said good-bye to him. It was about 10:30 am by this time. First Aid gave me a ride to the trailhead and it so happened that Silverfox and Boomer were just heading out too. It was beautiful and I felt great heading into the Sierras- I was excited, slightly intimidated, but anxious to see the Sierras.
The Trail: I walked mainly alone as Boomer and Silverfox walked faster. But I was really loving my solo hike. I passed Mr. 6000 (formerly known as: Lake Street Jim & Wiley Coyote) about 4 miles into the hike. After mile 6-8, I was alone and didn't see anyone until mile 14, at Swallow Bridge. I think the official name of the bridge is "Monarch Bridge" but I call it Swallow bridge because there is a HUGE colony of swallows under the bridge- I took a photos of them swarming around but you can't really see them, it was pretty cool though. At Swallow Bridge, I saw Joe and D; they were fishing off the bridge and D caught a fish but lost it as I had my dinner (trail mix) there at the bridge. After 15 minutes, Boomer & Silverfox came up too. It was a lovely late afternoon and the bridge crosses a meandering river in a large meadow. I got chilly as dark clouds started gathering and D said it looked like that yesterday afternoon too and didn't rain, things blow over out here. Joe offered me a dinner of fish, but as I looked at Joe with D, and Silverfox having fun with Boomer I started hearing background music playing in my head..."One is the loneliest number...One is the loneliest number....one is the loneliest number that you'll ever see....." (You know that song by 3 Dog night?) Anyway, it was only 5 pm, so I decided to hike on for a couple of more miles and make camp.
It was really so lovely. I can't explain the tranquility and freedom of hiking by myself as I gained elevation- it was one of my top days on the trail. I planned to make camp at Cow Creek (2.4 miles after the bridge) but it was so nice to be out hiking that I kept going. I passed IceCap and Wild Child as they were making camp for the night, but I kept going (trying to outrun a swarm of mosquitos that were chasing me). I eventually made camp after 19 miles on the trail.
It was a perfect day.
SoloGirl's Guide To The PCT
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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