Day 43: Kennedy Meadows

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. 

We knew we didn’t have too far to go so we hiked quickly and didn’t take any breaks.

We said goodbye to the desert, glad to have experienced it, but not sad to see it go. 

And before we knew it, we turned off the trail onto a road and walked our way into Kennedy Meadows, the PCT start of the Sierras. 

It was such a great feeling to arrive and know we had made it through the first major section of the trail. 

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. 

I can’t even believe all the wonderful things she sent us. It was seriously like Christmas morning. She definitely read my mind for everything I was craving. 

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.

After we got set up, we made our way to the store’s patio, the general hangout, and fed our starving bellies and caught up with everyone. 

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. 

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3 thoughts on “Day 43: Kennedy Meadows

  1. Thank you Jenn, for calling us awesome, Rick and I think you and Colton are pretty awesome and we were happy to give you guys a lift!!! I am digging your blog, (I started from the beginning). Good luck with the snow and the rest of your trip!!!. Happy trails!! Karen, from Kennedy Meadows

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