Days 53 & 54: The Gateway to the Sierra

Date: June 1 & 2, 2017
Miles: 680.9 – 702.2

Today was the day we hit 700 miles and reached Kennedy Meadows, the start of the Sierra sections and the place where most everyone bulks up their packs with bear cans and snow gear and heads out into the mountainous wilderness.  But first, we had a welcome change of scenery with the trail following alongside the Kern River for a few miles. 

Tim was waiting for us at the road in to the Kennedy Meadows General Store (I am sure getting used to having my own trail angel) and he gave us a ride there to check it out and then to a campground a couple miles away. 

The next morning, we went back to the store but, not finding it open yet, we went down the road to Grumpy Bear’s to get the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. The pancakes were bigger than our heads. Matthew was stoked because he has an amazing capacity to eat large quantities of pancakes in one sitting. 

I had high expectations for KM, thinking that it would be abuzz with hiker excitement and full of good things to eat. In reality, it was underwhelming.  The surly store owners didn’t seem to like hikers much, even though we were forking over good money to retrieve our packages and to buy overpriced goods. 

The General Store.

So we decided to drive in to Lone Pine to do laundry and spend money. I sent myself WAY too much food and a lot of it won’t fit in the bear can, so I left some of it at the post office to pick up later. 

Too. Much. Food.

We headed back to the campground to stay one more night and get ready to head in to the Sierra the next morning.  I had a good bit of anxiety wondering what lies ahead in terms of snow and river crossings…we’ll see how it goes!

Some flat walking before the high elevations of the Sierra.

700 miles!

The pack is about to get a lot heavier. Ugh.

Connor models the hiker’s laundry chic. Rain gear.

My chauffeur, gear mule, emotional support, provider of laundry quarters and best friend. ❤️

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