May 27, 2017: Hiked Miles 693.7 to 702.2 (8.5 total)
There’s nothing like waking up, curled up in your warm sleeping bag, to a beautiful valley that’s just chilly enough to chill your nose and remind you that you are in the mountains.
We took off early and had the most peaceful morning walk as we wound our way out of the desert and finally into the Sierras.
We passed our first decent sized river that was running quickly and gave us a taste of the immense snow runoff that we’re going to encounter in the mountains.
Kennedy Meadows is hardly a town. There’s one general store and one cafe that basically cater to hikers. It’s perfect.
First things first, we picked up all our packages. We both had our ice axes, microspikes, and cold weather gear shipped here and we also had an enormous care package from my wonderful friend, Kjerstin.
We decided to set up our tent before we started sorting out packages since there were a ton of hikers here. We found a perfect shady spot, right next to our friends we hadn’t seen in awhile. They welcomed and congratulated us with some trail magic.
It was great to see so many familiar faces, some we hadn’t seen since the first couple days. Everyone was sorting through packages, stuffing their faces, and sipping beer, so now it really did feel like Christmas.
We spent the afternoon hanging out with friends, sorting all our resupply food and shipping some extra ahead, trying to figure out how we were going to fit all our extra stuff into our packs, and hypothesizing about the looming Sierras. Soon everyone was hungry again so we all hitched rides down to the cafe a few miles down the road. They had a DJ, so we sat outside, listened to music, chowed down, attempted to line dance, and enjoyed our beautiful surroundings.
When the sun sank down behind the mountains, it got cold quickly, so we hitched a ride back to the store from an awesome couple who had a weekend house up here, ate whatever snacks we could find leftover in the hiker box, and crawled in bed.
Tomorrow starts a whole new type of adventure with the promise of snow for the next however-many hundred miles, steeper climbs than anything so far, cold nights, sunny days, treacherous terrain, and some of the most beautiful sights we’ll probably ever see. Here come the Sierras.