Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 46 - Fox Mill Spring to Kennedy Meadows

Today was a good day.
I slept well during the night, and we managed to pack up quickly and head out early at 7:15.
We had a long climb to start our day, but we were done with it fast enough, and started the long long descent to Manter Creek. The trail just went down and down along the ridge, and every time we turned a corner, there was more descending trail ahead of us. It took forever. And the day started getting really hot.
Finally, we reached the creek at about 11:00, and ate some snacks. The water didn't seem too good, so I filled up 1 liter, and didn't bother to filter it. I figured I'd carry it just in case I'd run out of water, and only filter it then.
This rattler started rattling away right when Idan passed it, and I was behind. We both jumped instantly.
The next water was the Kern river, about 4.3 miles north, and we have finished all the major climbs of the day. The trail was just rolling up and down some hills, and crossing some low saddles.
At one point I was walking about 1-2 meters behind Idan, when suddenly we heard a loud sprinkler like sound. Idan jumped forward two or three steps, and I jumped back several steps, and we saw a Rattler right between us, to the right of the trail, all coiled up and rattling. I took a large detour on the other side of the trail (and didn't forget to get a photo).
Chilling my feet at the Kern River
When we got to the Kern river (well, the south fork of it), it was just as I fantasized - a wide rolling river. It was really hot outside, and I was really sweaty, and I kept thinking about jumping in. But at the end I just dipped my feet and legs. It was still very nice. We also got some more good water for the final stretch of the day.
The 700 mile marker
The remaining 4.3 miles were again - rolling trail with minor ups and downs. We got out of the shade just at 13:30, so it was definitely hot, with almost no shade on the trail, and just an occasional wind.
We saw some buildings ahead and to the right, and we hoped one of them was the Kennedy Meadows general store, but the trail just went on a bit further, before it finally reach the paved road.
Walking on the hot road at 15:00 was no fun, and we kept looking for the Internet Cafe, assuming all the hikers will be there. We passed something that seemed like it, from the photos we've seen, but it appeared to be deserted and closed. We moved on to the general store, and finally found all the hikers.
We claimed a spot behind the store, and bought some cold drinks and relaxed a bit. Idan had a burger, and then we got all of our boxes and set up our tents. Idan was hoping he'd get a hold of Yair before he arrives up here, so we went to the Internet Cafe to try and call him using Skype.
The Internet Cafe is no Cafe. It's just some trailers and chairs laying around, and there's wifi there. Tom, the owner, is not around. So Pink Panther runs it at the moment, and she gave us the wifi password. She also gave us our loaner Bear canisters and Idan managed to replace his small Garcia with a bv500. Lucky.
My food bag for the next section - a bear canister
We got no luck with the Skype, and headed back to the store. A short time afterwards Yair arrived and parked his car. It was really good to finally see him, and we helped him unload all the stuff he brought over for us. Some of it from back home, and some were just fresh supplies he bought yesterday.
Yair and I had veggie burgers for dinner, and Idan bought his mother's excellent chocolate cake to share with everyone around. He later brought some Israeli snacks as well, and people were really interested.
With all the boxes and food we've got here, I will have to figure out tomorrow what I'm going to carry. I need to fit around 5 days into my Bear canister, and carry 2 more days outside, for the days before we reach the places where it's mandatory. It's going to be a pain.
Oh, and the zippers on my tent's bug netting started giving me a hard time. Right before entering mosquito country. I hope I can fix it here somehow.