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Lita (All or Nothing)
Begins: Apr 28, 2011
Date: Mon, Jul 4th, 2011
Start: Canebreak Road
End: South Fork Kern River
Daily Distance: 17
Trip Distance: 675.3
Entry Visits: 433
Journal Visits: 32,595
Guestbook Views: 1,683
Guestbook Entrys: 22
Happy Independence Day dear readers! It tooks like tomorrow I will arrive at the famous (for PCT hikers anway) Kennedy Meadows. Had I chosen to hike the extra 4 miles, I could be in Kennedy Meadows right now, but I didn't really see the point in pulling a 21 mile day. I would have arrived just after the general store had already closed, so I figuered that it would be better to just take it easy and get in tomorrow morning (when I can relax and buy some tasty snacks).
For the most part, today was relatively easy and enjoyable hiking. There was some initial uphill for the first few miles, but once I got that out of the way it was all smooth sailing. I was amazed at how quickly the miles flew by!
This afternoon I experienced my first thundershower on the trail. I could see the clouds rolling in slowly from several miles away, but by 1:00 they hovered over me omniously. I'll be honest, ever since my stormy experience in the San Jacinto mountains, the threat of rain makes me more than a little nervous. I often worry that my water proofing methods won't be sufficient and thus I will put myself at risk for hypothermia. Worse yet, once I heard the deep rumble of thunder I instantly started fretting about being struck by lighting. It's funny, I never worry about lighting strike at home, but that's probably because I'm not strutting around on exposed ridgetops at home.
Those of your reading this may be chuckling to yourselves (or perhaps rolling your eyes) when you come across my rantings about hypothermia and lightning strike. If you're thinking that I worry WAY too much, you're probably right. I often create premature disastor scenarios in my mind's eye as I hike. All I can say in my defense is that I am certified in first aid and CPR. I've been trained to be mindful of the worst case scenarios and thus prepare for them. Okay, I know that's just an excuse, but it's all I've got, haha.
I stopped to drop my pack and water proof my gear (ie. put everything into plastic garbage bags), and hiked on just as the first drops of rain began to fall. I must admit, it was actually kind of refreshing to hike in the rain. The earth smelled clean and the sound of water droplets pattering against the surrounding rock outcroppings was peaceful. By the time I was off the ridge and approaching Manter Creek (13 miles in), I was in high spirits and loving the weather.
I explored the area around the creek and soon discovered Chainsaw resting out of the rain beneath a large tree. He had used his tent foot print to rig up a small tarp-like shelter from the rain and I promptly crawled underneath to join him for lunch.
In all of about 2 seconds, Chainsaw and I found ourselves immersed in our usual favorite topic: food. Burgers, french fries, ice cream, mac and cheese, pie, pasta, chocolate cake and more! As Chainsaw is a chef back in the real world, about 70% of our conversations seem to revolve around food fantasies. Hiking with him is both a gift and a curse, haha. From what my hiking buddy tells me, the Kennedy Meadows general store is small, but should be well stocked with all the hiker favorite high calorie snacks. I can't wait!
Once the rain finally abated, we decided to hike on another 4 miles to the south fork of the Kern River to make camp. That way we would on
ly be a few miles from Kennedy Meadows, and tomorrow (after a quick 2 hour hike) could spend the day whole day relaxing and eating. We made the last 4 miles in great time and set up our tents amongst the delicate wild rose bushes along the bank of the Kern. I was so excited to see my first big Sierra river! It was swollen with rain and flowing swiftly, but Chainsaw reassures me that by the time we need to cross it, it will be via bridge. Thank goodness!
Pacific Crest Trail - 2011
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