…to the promised land!
June 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
Lake Isabella to Kennedy Meadows – 50 miles 4 days Total: 702 miles 50 days + 6 zero days
Kennedy Meadows. At last. Canada is too far away to keep it in your mind as a goal on a daily basis so you break down the journey into smaller, more manageable parts. You break it down into how far you’ll walk that day, into the number of miles and days till the next resupply and into the significant points: every hundred miles, a 1000 miles, the halfway point, the Oregon border, Washington… Kennedy Meadows is one of those significant points. We’ve been walking since Campo with Kennedy Meadows in our mind, it’s the furthest we could envision. We’ve been counting the miles and days to Kennedy Meadows since a couple of weeks. Because Kennedy Meadows marks the start of the Sierras, the real stuff, the mountains we discovered and loved on the John Muir Trail, the mountains that lured us back here to the PCT.
Southern California, the desert and about 700 miles of trail lie behind us. We’ve been lucky through these sections. Temperatures have been relatively cool this year (until the last couple of days at least!) so, although we still sweated profusely and spent the hottest hours of the day resting in the shade, there was no need for hiking at night. Due to a wet winter, most of the springs, creeks and streams were still running when we went through. The longest stretch without water was that first one, 32 miles, where we carried 10 liters of water. Later, we never carried so much as we realized we could do with less.
But our luck in the previous sections will play against us in the next ones. It snowed a lot this winter and spring has been cool. Big portions of the trail are still covered in snow and rivers we have to ford will be high, fast-flowing and cold from snow melt. We’ve been warned we’ll get used to have wet feet all day. Brand new challenges await us.
We’ve enjoyed it so far. We’ve seen great sceneries, been to beautiful places and had memorable moments but let’s be honest, that was enough desert. We’re not ready to hike these sections again anytime soon and we wouldn’t recommend them to someone who wants a taste of the PCT because, for having hiked parts of the JMT, we know more beautiful as yet to come…
The Sierras, here we come!
P.S. It’s not handy to brush your teeth with half a toothbrush!
P.P.S. Great job, John! We got the packages. We loved the personalized chocolate bars! 😉 Thank you!