Mileage 7 (on the Kearsarge pass trail)
We wake late. Condensation soaked my sleeping bag and I was cold but then it froze into an insulating crust and I was warm again. I slept awesome overall, waking up to pee the milky way burning like fire overhead.
We hike weary over pretty Kearsarge pass. On the way down the M.C. Escher switchbacks on the other side I meet Bearclaw, coming up! I try to convince her to hike with us. Don’t go to far! I say. We’ll catch up!
We get to the trailhead and sit, hot and thirsty, on the bearboxes there, waiting for a ride to materilize. Roy, a hiker from Israel, strums pop songs on a ukulele and I eat the last dregs of my food. At last a couple in an RV offers us a ride to Independance, and it all goes downhill from there.
I’ll spare you all the boring details, but we are shuttled down, down, down, back into the chapparal and the hot valley, into a smotheringly thick-aired little town where hitchhiking is 100% impossible because no-one knows what a PCT hiker is- it seems they know nothing of that magical world so far above them, in the very tops of those barren-looking granite walls, that world of clear thin air and pines and burbling snowfields and just-waking-up bears. They know none of this, and so they do not pick us up, and my resupply box is in Bishop, some 40 miles away, and I have no way to get there, save for the man at the hostel who will drive me there “for a hundred dollars”.
Long story short, I end up in Lone Pine, without my box, because there is a bus that goes there. It’s 3 p.m. when I finally set my pack down in a room at the hostel with the others. I’m hot and exhausted and I’ve only eaten candy all day, and I’m on the verge of a breakdown. I bolt to carl’s jr. for burgers and sweet potato fries and eat them very quickly with the air conditioning on high. I shower, buy chips at the sad little grocery store, wash my clothes at the laundromat, and then the day is basically over. My logistical plan for the morning is depressing- catch the (one) 6:15 a.m. bus to Bishop, wait until 9 a.m. to get my box from the post office, hitch back to the trailhead and haul ass to catch up with the others. Hike all day in the snow, postholing over Glen Pass.
Photos on instagram.