Day 55: Monster Backpacks and Bigger Fears

Date: June 3, 2017
Miles: 704.6 – 716.46 

I was buzzing with anxiety today as I got ready to leave Kennedy Meadows and Tim. I had a monster backpack on my back, my big Salomon waterproof boots on my feet, and a multitude of Sierra fears in my brain.

That may appear to be a smile, but it’s a borderline grimace of pain.

Eventually, Katie, Connor, Roi, Matthew and I headed out. 

l-r: Roi, Matthew, Katie, Connor, and me.

The temperature was high and my feet were roasting in the big boots, so I stopped every chance I got to rest and soak my feet in cold water.  I became increasingly crabby with the weight and constant squeakiness of my Osprey pack…it felt as though a small man was bear hugging me and refusing to let go.  But I knew that the real source of my irritability was my intolerance of change and of being out of my comfort zone, so I resolved to work on those things as I walked and hoped for the best. 

At the end of the day, we camped with another hiker named High Risk in a neat little campground tucked away above the South fork of the Kern River and a bridge with swallows nests tucked underneath it.  

Connor and Katie went to take a swim in the river and I joined them for a bit, then I went to watch the birds zip in and out of their homes. As they all randomly let poo bombs fly into the river, I was reminded that I needed to filter water and then make some dinner before getting some sleep, so I did those things and then drifted off with a full belly and a still mind. 

My shiny new Z-lite sleeping pad and old 1,000,000 pound pack.

The Kern River.