Skinner Peak to Morris Peak
Mile 634.2 – Mile 656.9
When choosing a site for your tent, choose wisely. Two nights ago I had an ideal spot. Last night’s spot proved to be a problem. The wind never did die down and though I had some windbreak, gusts would still collapse my tent like a giant thumb pressing from above. I was forced to remove my rain fly so the wind would not have as much purchase and that worked to keep the tent upright. The next problem was the wind now blowing straight through my tent. My down quilt is super warm and comfortable but a windbreaker it is not. I donned all my layers and ended up cocooning myself within the tent’s rain fly inside the tent. That worked though not without some condensation. Another hiker, Campo, told me he read 35 degrees on his thermometer in the morning. That would account for my cold night and morning. To add insult to injury, my air mattress alhso deflated though I now think it was numb fingers not closing the valve tight enough.
That all provided plenty of incentive to get the blood moving early. After getting a bit lower off the ridge line, I had a nice forest walk through mid morning.
I emerged into another burn area with many ATV tracks but what caught my attention was a first glimpse of the snow capped Sierras. They were still days distant but it was an exciting moment nonetheless.
After 17 miles I hit Walker Pass, another potential resupply hitch into Lake Isabella. That was not my plan but I did stop at the campground where a local trail angel had left a bunch of gleaned bread and donuts. Woohoo, free carbs!
As I was sitting talking to SilverFox, a Canadian from B.C. with a profile similar to my own, we looked up to see none other than CopperTone pulling in with his mobile support wagon. This is the 3rd or 4th time I’d seen him along the way and it’s his last stop before heading to Minnesota for a family reunion.
Another kind soul staying at the campground brought over a bagful of cold beverages including beer, hard lemonade, and Gatorade! Guess which I chose?
The outpouring of generosity and all around high spirits of such moments is something that escaped my expectations. I can see myself doing something for hikers in the future just for the fun and camaraderie of it.
Up from Walker Pass the trail enters the Evans Peak wilderness which is where I find myself camped tonight in a much more thoughtful location. The wind is still a blowin’ but I’m a quick study where comfort is involved.