Fox Mill Springs to Kennedy Meadows
Mile 683.2 – Mile 702.2
As I strode onto the hallowed grounds of Kennedy Meadows General Store, a sense of accomplishment coursed through me. I had made it through the desert and earned the right to try myself in the Sierras. My ticket was punched, admission price paid!
There’s a large shaded porch attached to the store populated by many excited hikers. Gear and resupply boxes were strewn everywhere and much of the chatter was of what’s ahead. Whenever a hiker wanders in from the trail, applause erupts from those gathered and trail names are shouted in congratulations.
Other than the store, there’s not much to Kennedy Meadows including cell coverage and wifi internet access. The narrow bandwidth that does exist suffers from scores of hikers saturating the signal such that even getting a text message marks a major success.
The lack of access to outside news creates a bit of an echo chamber when it comes to trail conditions ahead. People are either trying to talk themselves into or out of attempting the Sierras. I plan to pack as much food as possible and go see for myself. Genchi genbutsu!
I had a trickle of an outdoor shower and got my name in the queue to use what is surely the hardest working washing machine in the county this time of year. That will have to wait until tomorrow along with sorting my food and new gear for the mountains.
In the meantime, I hopped a shuttle to Grumpy Bear’s for dinner. I was surprised and delighted to reunite with Sidewinder and Actually Boykin, (Sarah & Boykin) a couple from North Carolina whom I’d first met way back at Scout and Frodo’s. We leapfrogged each other most of the first week and then lost touch. We had a fun time comparing trail notes and trying to figure out how we have missed each other until now. They plan to take a two week break soon and travel to Portland and maybe Seattle. I told them of some spectacular accommodations that might be available should they make it to Seattle.
I will take the day off tomorrow to get squared away on the details ahead. Tough to do with sketchy access to information but I’m pretty sure the likes of John Muir et al just packed up and went sans cell phone, trail reports, and lightweight food. I’m going to go out and find out what I got. But not yet, tomorrow I rest.