PCT Day 62 – Wednesday June 13
Kennedy Meadows Mile 702.2 to Mile 715
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 12.8
Feet Ascended Today: 2850
Feet Descended Today: 510
Current Elevation: 8384
We weren’t in a big hurry this morning and took our time to get packed up. I ate a breakfast of blueberry pancakes, sausage and eggs at the Kennedy Meadows General Store. Pancake power!
Monarch and I hit the road at about 10:00 am and walked the .7 miles back to the trailhead. From there we headed north! The path was flat and sandy as it followed the Kern River. While soft, sand is also rather hard to walk on as it takes more energy. It was hot on the valley floor. Whew!
After a few miles, the trail crossed over the Kern River via a wooden bridge. We stopped for a snack break and Monarch, who previously guided rafting tours and loves the water, jumped in right in. I put my feet in the river too and it was COLD! But refreshing 🙂
After crossing the bridge, the trail began climbing into the mountains. At first the trail meandered through the trees, but then the path travelled through another burn area without any shade. We took a lunch break at a stream with Spider Mama and Tetris and refilled our water bottles. After lunch the trail reached an elevation of about 8000 feet and crested a ridge – and suddenly the burn area was behind me and mountains towered majestically all around. A lovely alpine meadow stretched out before me, providing a pleasant foreground for the Sierras in the distance. It only took 710 miles to get here but I finally made it! THIS is why I’m hiking the PCT!
“The hills are alive… with the sound of music,” I couldn’t help but singing.
Water is abundant in the mountains so I don’t have to worry as much about carefully calculating the distance between water sources and carrying extra liters of water. Yay! I stopped at a steam running through the meadow to fill another bottle.
Monarch, Spider Mama, Tetris and I dry camped at the top of a hill in some trees. The boys (Bottom, Donkey Kong, Sinatra, Sea Biscuit and Sizzle) camped nearby but we were separated from them by some trees. It was kinda nice to have a girls night. A strand of conversation wafted through the trees from the boys area – one of them was commenting on his balls. “Take a look at this,” he said “I don’t think this looks right.” We looked at eachother and burst out laughing.
We cooked dinner together and watched the birds swooping and diving. These birds make a very unsettling sound as they dive. I’ve never heard a sound like it before – it definitely sounds like a larger animal or maybe even a person. The bird call continued to startle me every time I heard it, even after we figured out what it was.