53. June 2: Mile 698.04 Campsite to Mile 704.68 Kennedy Meadows Campground
After months and years of dreaming of this moment, I arrived into Kennedy Meadows with my trail family after 700 miles in 52 days through the desert of Southern California. It was surreal to walk up to the General Store with everyone clapping and cheering for us. It’s the end of the desert, but the beginning of the Sierras. It almost feels as though the trail is beginning again; like hitting reset. The next month will resemble very little of what we experienced in the last month and a half.
The day did not start out so well, though. We had cowboy camped next to the Kern River in a canyon and over night it had dewed heavily all over our sleeping bags and clothes. The inside of our bags never got wet and remained warm, but packing up camp was a complete pain in the ass. We went ahead and packed everything up and planned to explode our packs in the sun to dry our gear since Kennedy Meadows was only a few miles ahead.
After drying out our gear the four of us went to Grumpy Bear’s Retreat for breakfast. They served “all you can eat” pancakes with hash browns, eggs, and bacon. They gave you one pancake that was about 15 inches in diameter, an inch thick and weighed at least two pounds. Needlessly to say I failed miserably at finishing my pancake.
We spent the afternoon picking up our resupply boxes of food and gear for the Sierras (extra clothing, ice axes, and microspikes). Not looking forward to the added weight, but it will make for an easier passage through the mountains. Burgers and beer were in order as well and the ret of the day consisted of relaxing on the porch before heading out for three more miles to Kennedy Meadows Campground for the night. Tomorrow we should be headed up from 6000 feet to 9000 feet and possibly seeing the first snow of the Sierras.