7/22/18 – Kennedy Meadows North

Day 32

Miles: 0

If feels good to sleep in. All the way to 8:00 a.m. I have breakfast – coffee and a bearclaw and then I meet with Dave, Gray Ghost, and Daybreak. We spend the morning chatting away. We make plans to meet for a drink at 2:00 p.m.

Chores include picking our resupply box and figuring out if we need anything else for the next stretch. If the next stretch happens. Though the trail is not in danger, the smoke from the Ferguson fire affects the air quality for hundreds of miles. We have been seeing it to some degree for last four days and today it’s really bad. Ranger’s in Tuolumne Meadows tells us the air quality in that area is on the borderline of unhealthy. The fire is still spreading and despite of effort of 3,000+ firefighters is only 7% contained. If we were thru-hiking, chasing the monument, I’d be inclined to push through but this year is about enjoying the trail and it’s beauty, not hiking through smoke. We haven’t decided 100% but we are really thinking about heading back to Washington and hiking some miles there. We would like to revisit the sections that were concealed in smoke last year. So far the summer seems to be smoke free there.

After drink with Gray Ghost and Daybreak it’s back to decision making. The weather is monsoon like with strong rain in forecast and lightening and thunder. I’m not feeling super comfortable heading to those conditions with a tent that leaked. One more zero day, we agree. We will try to locate the leaks and fix them before weathering another storm in our shelter.

Finding holes in our tent floor proves to be much more difficult than one would say. We wait until dark and then shine our headlamp through the floor. We find one possible leak, too small to cause the entire flooding issue. I shoot an e-mail to Z-packs to see if they have any other recommendations. Sleep does not come easy. What should we do?