6/12/17 – Welcome to the Sierra
Miles: 689.06 to 702
Does the trail warn us? Or does it just test us? That’s a question I asked myself on the morning when I opened the vestibule of our tent and saw the dusting of snow on the ground. I knew something was up because in the middle of the night Daybreak and Grey Ghost, who were cowboy camping next to us started to rustle and by the time morning downed, we found them in their tent.
It was a cold morning, and the wind that blew from the wee hour did not help the cause. I started hiking in my long johns and down jacked and so did Dave. It took us an hour to warm up enough to be willing to shed the down layer, mid layer came off another hour later.
Hiking was easy today, downhill mostly for the first five miles or so and afterwards it was rolling flat.
The transition from the desert to Sierras was noticeable mostly by the amount of water we saw. Kern River, the largest river we saw on the trail met is about half way to Kennedy Meadows and we walked against its course for quite a while. Several smaller streams stood in our way that we had to rock hop across.
It was 1:00 p.m. when we arrived to Kennedy Meadows and hikers sitting on a porch of the general store cheered our arrival. Getting to Kennedy Meadows is a big deal. The desert is over and we are now officially entering the Sierras. It took us 700 miles and 50 days to get here. The moment of arrival had a bittersweet taste. The desert was done and over with, yet the Sierra was still unconquered this year and with the amount of snow remaining up in the high country, the rivers and that stopped contenders in their track would not subside soon.
But for now we decided not to worry about the Sierra or snow or creeks. We had three days snow free to Lone Pine and from there we would figure out our plan.
Some of our friends were already here, others arrived throughput the afternoon, and all together we celebrated the great achievement of walking 700 miles of the SoCal desert.