23 Aug Day 124 – Blue Sky
At mile 706.7. Hiked 25.2 PCT miles plus 0.8 miles to store and back.
The sky was so blue. Gone are the smoky days in Washington. It was a great day to hike in the high desert. The trail gradually climbed up through ever higher hills above a drainage; progressing in a sensible direction. It felt good when I topped out at 8008 feet, an elevation I hadn’t seen for a very long time.
Above is a dead tree at 8008 feet. The landscape was open and appeared to have burned in the distant past.
I made good time, hiking 11.9 miles over the first in 4 hours,including stops for photos and changing layers. By 2 pm, I had hiked the 20 miles to Kennedy Meadows.
Here I am at Kennedy Meadows.
And here is the General Store at KM.
My resupply box came in about an hour after I arrived. What timing! Thanks to my wife Sandra who patiently packed and repacked this box and still managed to get it there on time. Unfortunately for me, but nice for other hikers, I had too much food and made generous donations to the hiker box. On the other hand a thru-hiker named Miller-Time gave me his large bear canister which I traded with the General Store for a smaller BV450 canister. Only 8 oz less, but every ounce counts. Miller-Time didn’t ask for anything in return, but I payed his tab at the General Store. This was Miller-Time’s last day. Congrats on completing your thru-hike! KM is a great traditional spot that is worthy for ending a thru-hike. We enjoyed a celebratory beer and a toast.
The trail leading up over the valley.
Rock decorated mountain in morning light.
Rock Valley Basin and a fork of the Kern river somewhere below.
A cute little cactus.
A cute little snake. Lost count, but add two to my last snake count because I also saw one in Northern Cascades.
Things started looking cool with granite formations.
700 miles from Mexico.