6/10/17 – Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Day
Miles: 652 to 668.69
Just as he promised, the trail angel picked us up at Lake Isabella Motel at 6:00 a.m. During a conversation with Sunkist yesterday he suggested he would prefer to fill the van’s capacity, 8 hikers total.
“Sorry, it’s only 6 of us,” Sunkist apologized but in reality it was a good thing. Even with only 6 hikers, the 5 seater van was full to the max.
Our hiking day started at 7:00 a.m. at Walker Pass Campground. First mile was an easy one, rising gently out of the camp and then dropping us to the highway where we found a monument dedicated to Joseph Rutherford Walker who discovered the Pass in 1834.
After a zero day (or more likely after the two glasses of wine I had with dinner last night) my body felt like lumber. Stiff and unhappy to walk, my lungs were burning on the ridiculously small hill we had to scale after leaving Walker Pass Campground. Luckily after crossing the road where the real ascend begun, my hiker legs kicked in and my body adjusted to the idea of hiking again and suddenly the climb did not seem so bad anymore.
The wind blew wildly in the morning, gusting occasionally to the strength that made me stumble, and it blew clouds from the valley up and over the ridge we walked. Distant views disappeared, the landscape shrank to several feet around us. At one point we found a wind protected site where we sat for a short snack break watching the clouds rolling above our heads. There is something about hiking in the fog that I found very appealing.
In the afternoon the sun came out and burned the clouds once and for all. The trail dropped into a valley and with the altitude we also lost the wind. It was still breezy but we no longer had to worry about being blown off the trail.
We were the first ones at camp. It was only 4:00 p.m. and we certainly could push further but it felt good to chill by a creek and dip our sore feet in the cold water and cook dinner in no rush. Staying here also meant we would reconnect with our friends whom we passed early in the morning and haven’t seen since.
We are one day closer to Kennedy Meadows. I’m thrilled to be out of the desert but the prospect of dealing with large qualities of snow and raging rivers does not really excites me. Hopefully we can find the right solution when we get there.