Day 49: Kennedy Meadows North, Bye Bye Bear Canister!

June 28th, 2021

Mile Marker: 1017.9

Miles Hiked: 16

We decided to get up a little early this morning so that we could guarantee we made it to Sonora Pass by 3 pm. Kennedy Meadows North runs a shuttle for hikers at 10:30 and 3pm. This was exciting for us so that we didn’t have to worry about a hitch.

We headed out covered in our rain gear. The worst part of these mosquitos is when you have to boom boom.. you have to expose your bum and all you can really do is let the mosquitos bite that and your face.. I’m 100 percent buying a head net for the days to come.

We had a few miles to water then a big water carry up and over a mountain. We were shocked at the lack of water available but 10 miles wasn’t too bad.

We started the climb up and could see exactly where the trail went as there were no trees. I loved seeing all the other hikers making their way up, we looked like little ants.

It was my favorite kind of climb. Extremely gradual and no big rocks, so I could keep a nice even pace the entire time and know where I needed to go.

Once up top, it had us following the ridge line between some mountains and it was jaw dropping. I literally couldn’t stop swiveling my head taking it all in.

I had no idea we were expecting views like this today. We even had a few big snow patches that we had to walk through. Each time I grabbed a fist full of snow and chucked it at Planner. Unfortunately, I missed the first two times but got her on the third. Once Conrad joined us, I then started throwing them at him. I mean….. we hardly got any snow in the Sierras, I had to take advantage of it.

While hiking up on one of the last climbs this young couple told us to pause as she took pictures of us.

Once up top we got to talk with them and she went by Mixed Greens and he as Scotch Tape. They told us they hiked the PCT southbound in 2019 and had so much snow through the Sierras. They said their feet never touched dirt almost the entire time. Here we are, 2021, never touching snow and only dirt. It would be so exciting to come back during a snow year and experience it in a whole different way.

We hiked down to Sonora pass and the highway at 1 pm and started eating some snacks. I spotted a Subaru coming around the bend so I stuck out my thumb and the guy pulled over immediately. We were all in shock, did I really just get a hitch that fast?!

I sure did, the man was coming from fishing and car camping in the mountains and was heading back to San Fransisco. He was a data analyst there but loved getting out in nature. He had plenty of questions about the PCT and we all tried to convince him to do it. He took us all the way to Kennedy Meadows Resort and we felt so extremely lucky.

We popped out of his car at the lobby and I was almost immediately feeling overwhelmed. There were so many people and so many hikers. AHHH!

We went into the lobby to check on a cabin or bunk room and were told they were completely full but that there were two teepee tents left that we could use.

A teepee?!!?!

But they had cots in them so we snagged the bigger one. It fit 8 people and as our tramily keeps growing in size as our sister crew is naturally merging with us, it was the perfect fit.

The place had us pay 30 for a cot, shower, laundry, and shuttle tomorrow. Truly a great deal. We decided to first get a meal so that we all wouldn’t be hangry and I drank some beer to chill out. There was a lot to do but also, we could relax.

Our sister crew had gotten split up over the few days and we only really knew where Lightning and Chopper were. As Planner and I were deciding on laundry, Journey came running out to us in a bear hug sort of way and we were thrilled to see him. Since Mammoth, he had been ahead of us and we never caught up to him.

We also now knew that Reed was one day ahead and Primetime and Starstruck were one day behind. Crazy how the trail works and how we can quite easily get split up.

We all have plans to get into South Lake Tahoe for the 4th so I am sure we will regroup there!

I was able to turn in my bear canister today and I could not be more happy to get rid of that sucker! We also only need to pack food for 3 days so I am hoping my bag is oh so light!

We spent the evening finishing up chores, charging electronics and eating food.

We were told the teepee gets better ventilation and is cooler than the bunk house so I’m not mad about getting put out here. To be honest, I kinda like it, what an experience!

The Sierras are pretty much done and I can’t believe how quickly they went by. But I’m so giddy at what is to come!

Iz and Oz

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