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Ron & Julie "Snowplow & Rubber Legs" Cluster
Begins: Apr 12, 2009
Date: Sat, Jun 13th, 2009
Start: South Fork Kern River
End: Kennedy Meadows - 6166 ft
Daily Distance: 4.2
Trip Distance: 497.7
Hours Hiked: 2
Daily Ascent: 802
Daily Descent: 566
Min Elevation: 5752
Max Elevation: 6181
Entry Lat: 36.01941
Entry Lng: -118.12389
Entry Visits: 1,017
Journal Visits: 92,050
Guestbook Views: 34,018
Guestbook Entrys: 123
Got started at 8:15am for the final 5 miles or so into Kennedy Meadows. I took the tape off my feet last night so it will be interesting to see how they do. The trail has a little uphill and some gentle downhill but overall is pretty easy. We walk along the Kern River for a little bit and then the trail cuts across some open sagebrush meadows. The feet are a little tender but they don't feel too bad.
We make it to the general store which is the hiker hang out. Bathroom, showers and camping out back. Small grill on the side deck where you can order hamburgers and hot dogs. Cold drinks, snacks and supplies inside. You can run a tab if you want.
We get our tent set up and head down the road a couple hundred yards to an internet cafe to get a status update on Julie's dad. We also get a current weather report. Julie's dad is doing ok, recovery is going a little slow but he is improving. The weather, on the other hand, is definitely not doing ok. For at least all of next week the Sierra forecast is for highs in the low 30's, lows in the teens and snow. Not good conditions for our gear and capabilities. There have been lots of hikers heading north into the Sierra and we have heard that many have bailed out at Trail Pass and gone down to Lone Pine due to the weather. There have been no reports from any hikers making it through the southern high passes in the past week. There are still 30-40 hikers hanging out here waiting for better weather. They will still have to deal with lots of new snow when they are able to continue.
OK, time to come up with a plan B. We have a ride, along with 2 other hikers, arranged from here to Independence, leaving tomorrow after breakfast. We will take our resupply box from here and pick up the one in Independence. Monday we will take the regional bus from Independence to Bishop (bigger town) where we will rent a car and drive to the Reno area. The trail crosses I-80 near Donner Summit and we can get a bus from Reno to there. We will also need to have Bob send us the guidebook sections we will need as well as the data book. There are some items we will send home including the two bear canisters we just picked up, most all of the Independence resupply box and some items from our packs that we don't need.
We plan to hike northbound from Donner Summit. At this point, we really don't know how long we will hike in northern California but it could be as far as Castella, near Dunsmuir. We will then figure out how to get back to Kennedy Meadows and do the Sierra when the weather is better and more snow has melted. Once we hike up to Donner, then we will arrange a ride to wherever we left off in northern California. What a logistical headache. OK, that's our story and we're sticking to it.
We spent the day visiting with other hikers, eating and waiting for a computer so we could let Bob know of our change in plans. We discover that on Saturday evenings the community here has a potluck to raise money for the local fire department and hikers are invited to go through the line after the locals. Pretty cool, and the food was good. Sunday mornings they do a pancake breakfast so we will get in on that before we head down to Independence.
We will be up early to get packed and ready to leave before we go to the breakfast. Oh yeah, have to take care of our tab at the store also. We are in our tent, in the hiker tent city out behind the general store. It's a little breezy and feels like it might get cold here tonight too. Stay tuned for the next chapter in what is turning out to be a rather interesting trip.
Animal sitings: lizards
Sounds of Freedom: Nothing today.
Ron & Julie On The PCT - 2009
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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