Day #34 – May 19th: A storm is moving in and after much debate I decided to stay in Kennedy Meadows for one more night to let the bulk of the snow move past us. It’s currently snowing at 7,000 feet and I’m at 6,300…and its only uphill from here. The group I am planning on summiting Mt. Whitney with is staying at least one more night, so we’re gonna see how it all plays out! I’d much rather be hiking right now, but its better to be safe than sorry. So for right now I’ll just sit here in this hammock in my sleeping bag reading bear attack stories out of a book I found.
Day #35 – May 20th: Have I mentioned how much I dislike being stuck not hiking!!! I had an epic battle in my head of why I am out here doing this. I could never have imagined how hard it is being away from the people I love and care for. It really hit hard today, I was actually contemplating hitching to a bus station and calling it good enough for now. Until those words stuck in my head….. For now… No, I will not stop until I have had my fill for good! Until then I will keep on hiking. The best parts are coming up now, Mt. Whitney and Forester Pass. It is going to be tough but an experience I will always remember. In other news…I visited an alpaca farm today! The owner was in the Kennedy Meadows General Store and he let me ride with him in his Gator for a tour. He is a cool dog that hunts rattlesnakes.
Day #36, 37 & 38 – May 21-23: 40 miles in three days. Not the pace I was hoping for. We got stuck in a little snow storm, so much for blue skies. Trudged up to 10,000 feet through a little more than 2.5 feet of snow. Very pretty but slow going. All along the trail hikers were hunkered down waiting for clear trails. I personally like the snow and cold, but my feet hold a different opinion On that matter…I do not think trail runners were made with snow hiking in mind. On the second night Zippy, Mountain Goat and I made a fire and attempted to dry out our shoes and socks while being dumped on by a wet hail storm. We took stock of our food supplies and the lack of snow gear and decided to make an emergency stop into Lone Pine for resupply. All was agreed upon until a hard core hiker by the name of Dirt Monger came sauntering up. He took stock of the sad picture of three soaked, hungry, cold hikers and asked our plans. After we explained our situation he looked at me with cold steely eyes and in a voice that would inspire legions of mediocre would-be soldiers, announced “This is the PCT. Your feet are going to get wet, you’re going to get cold and you will get hungry” in my mind the challenge was accepted! But, the next morning we woke up to frost covered sleeping bags. Might be time to start packing long johns. Town sounded splendid. Oh well, maybe next time I will man up and push through. But today I will let it play out in town.
Day #39 – May 24th: In Lone Pine I stocked up on more food, gloves and microspikes for snow-walking. We stayed at a hostel last night and got warmed up. Today we’ll head back out on the trail and the day after tomorrow I will head up Mt. Whitney! Perfect weather is forecast for the 26th and I’m so excited! There is another storm coming in 5 days, but we should be Independence by then. Wish me luck!