Date: June 26 – 27, 2017
Miles: 0 and 2.6 non-PCT miles up Kearsarge Pass.
Health: Feeling rested.
Our zero day in Bishop is spend mostly resting. I go out in the morning to get breakfast and then to visit the gear stores in town. I'd like to find new shoes, something other than the Altras, but every model and make I try is too narrow for toes. My feet have swollen so much that I can't fit normal shoes anymore.
I'm also looking for a new hat. I know that it's hiker trash and all that to hike in a beaten hat, but this is something I wanted to do even before the hike. I just couldn't find a good hat in San Diego so I've hiked in my "backup hat" up to here.
I find one that feels great and protects my head better than the trucker style hat I've worn so far. But as I ask others for opinion, I hear that they don't recognize me without the old hat on. Bummer. Also, I'm not sure if I like the style of the hat I'm trying on. After way too much pondering, I decide to do a compromise – I buy the same Patagonia hat that I already have. This way I'll have a new hat, but everyone will still recognize me. And maybe I don't look like a hobo as I get into towns from here on out.
As I get back to the hostel Dandelion notices that the hats aren't the same. They're almost the same but with different print. Even better. But how did I miss that even with looking at the hats side by side?
We eat in our hostel room for dinner and while others watch TV or organize their gear, I spend the rest of the day and evening trying to get blog posts out. It's getting harder and harder to stay updated as the days and resupply distances get longer and longer. Also I find that now that we get to towns I have million things to do and organize and that leaves very little time for blogging.
Going out from Bishop, through Kearsarge, will be our biggest food carry so far. I'm taking ten days worth of food, meaning my pack will be extremely full and heavy. Especially with all the heavy Sierra gear.
There's no way I can fit all my food in my bear can so White Rabbit and I buy a pack of Opsak smell proof sacks. It's not bear smell proof, but it's better than nothing.
As we're about to leave I notice that I forgot to take my bounce box to Post Office and it closes at four, not five. Luckily I hear Fyre is staying for one more night so I ask her if she could drop my package to the Post Office tomorrow and she agrees. Thank you Fyre!
We're getting a ride with Legend and KB, Fireant, Dandelion, and I hop on. As we're driving towards Independence I hear that Fyre is not coming tomorrow, and that actually she's skipping this section and possibly flipping north of Sierra. I feel really bad as I didn't know this and would have liked to say proper, or at least better, goodbyes to her before we left. I keep hoping that our paths will still cross.
As we get to the trailhead and I shoulder my heavy pack, I feel down. The mountains look huge and ominous, the air is cold and windy, and leaving Fyre behind brings the whole groups morale down. We don't speak much as we ready our gear.
Right as we're leaving I remember that I forgot to pack toilet paper with me. Thankfully Legend hands me a small roll that should help at least a little. I take a little more from the pit toilets at the trailhead after we've done the road walk up to the trailhead.
The climb back up looks steep, and knowing how long it was, I'm not looking forward to this part at all. The worst is, these aren't even PCT miles. We're doing all this just to get resupplies for the next section. We'll join the PCT hopefully sometime tomorrow after climbing over the pass. Tonight we're just hiking up to the first lakes, just below the snow line.
As we get up to the lake we find Pony and others already camping there. We find a nice shielded spot close to them and setup our cowboy camps. Sunshine, Dandelion, Fireant, and I squeeze behind a flat rock, hoping the rock would give us some protection from the wind.
As it's already dark, we just quickly eat something and then get into our sleeping bags. Tomorrow we need to climb back up on the pass we just climbed a few days ago.