Miles 680-702 (22 miles)
All day today was pretty much the anticipation of getting to Kennedy Meadows. KM is a huge landmark for PCT hikers; it is a small hiker friendly community with a general store and internet cafe. Its basically the gateway to the sierras. At Kennedy Meadows, everything changes. We are officially out of the desert, there's tons more water available, and it is the last piece of established civilization on trail for at least a couple hundred miles. Most of us get our bear canisters shipped here, ice axes (not that we even need it this year) and different gear for the high sierras.
Anyhow, the hike all day was quite pleasant. We went through a large burn area. It was kinda eerie, you could see exactly where the treeline was and where the fire did and didn't burn. It was actually pretty dry today but there was water available so that made it nice. We did have a 2,000'+ climb though. But it's ok, because we were prepared. There's a pic of me and Not So Bad under a tree, and I'm holding a Gatorade bottle. That's not Gatorade in there. :D Whee!!! Lol!
At one point the trail goes right next to the South Fork of the Kern River. It was awesome because there's enough water to swim in it. I was there with Not So Bad and Cowboy (aka Nathan, who was one of the guys that went to Vegas, he's in the picture wearing yellow shorts). I was sitting on the bank eating ketchup and tortillas and I could hear them both yelping at how cold the water was. That pretty much killed any thoughts of me swimming. Lol. I also ran into Maya and Tal, a couple from Israel (pictured below). They're really cool.
I got to Kennedy Meadows around 6:30pm. It took me a while, i tend to slow down when I get close to town. I dunno what it is, I'm just in less of a hurry at that point. Which is opposite from most people. Lol. I ran into The Bobcat who was on her way out. That's a photo of her and I below. I didn't even recognize her, she had all new gear! She said Weather Carrot just left. Darn! :(
So I get there and I'm looking for Not So Bad, because he hikes faster than I and I figured he was already there. Cowboy passed him on the trail but hasn't seen him since. No one else there saw him at Kennedy Meadows. I thought that was weird, since his name was the last one on the register right before mine, so I figured he was just ahead of me. Turns out he didn't make a right turn onto the road at the intersection and just kept going 2 miles further on the trail, til he ran into Weather Carrot who told him that Kennedy Meadows was 2 miles back. DOH! So he basically did an extra 4 miles. Lol! What a goober. The whole time im thinking, *this* is the guy I'm hiking the sierras with?! Oh geez. Lol. Although in his defense I would have probably missed it too except I have gps on my phone. Ah well, birds of a feather huh? It's like the blind leading the blind. Lol. Oh, I should also point out, neither one of us has been overnight hiking before we started this trail, so the fact that we even made it 700 miles is pretty cool :)
Anyhow, he finally showed up, shortly before dark. Yay! We seam sealed his tent, and the whole time we're questioning it's waterproof ability. Hm. This could get gnarly, because although it is physically possible to fit 2 bodies in my solo tent, it kind of sucks. Lol. I'm gonna see if I can engineer a double walled tent tomorrow using both our tents.