08 June 2008

Kennedy Meadows General Store


I left the town of Mojave with seven days of food and five liters of water, this may have been the heaviest my packs been thus far. My Sunday start didn’t happen until almost noon, as I attended church in town. The three hikers in attendance doubled the size of this UCC congregation. The pianist kindly drove me to the trail.

Three days were windy and exposed. The gusts at saddles sometimes pushed me up hill. I met up with Paranoia, and we camped together in the shelter of pines a top of a ridge. We were able to witness a stunning sunset with our dinners. He and I hiked together for next four days. We met up with Sew-n-Sew, senator and Too Obtuse at camp near Bird Spring. The next 30 miles would have been dry without the generous water cache by trail angles Bill and Mary.

The terrain remained mostly sandy desert, but at times the vegetation blended with pine groves hinting at the approaching High Sierra. Another clue was the climbs grew steeper and longer. As the PCT wandered along beautiful valleys would appear down from each saddle or pass. And rocky ridge lines seemed to grow gnarlier as I left Southern California behind.

Very exciting views of snow covered ranges and a towering Mt. Whitney, spanned the horizon. This gave me additional pull to hike-on to Kennedy Meadows. I hiked most of Friday alone having camped solo, the night before, near Needle Peak springlet in the basin of Needle Peaks. It wasn’t until nearly dinner I met a section hiker. However, I continued onward camping alone again in Rock House Basin.

In camp early, 6:30p, I did some yoga and waited for sunset. The basin was expansive and sound of south Fork of Kern River bounced to my ears as stars slowly appeared. I awoke at 5:45a, and watched three lightweight hikers pass by. I packed eager for my destination and two scheduled zero days.

Relaxing and resting is a challenge for me. Yet I know it’s important for my body and mind to take a break. This is especially true because of the focus and energy that will be needed in the High Sierra. I am scared at some level; and confident at another. I think my fears are the fuel of my earlier doubts. The group I plan to enter the next 200+ miles with is well skilled and equipped for what lies ahead in the trail-less snowfields and bear country.

I spoke with Shoshana in Mohave. She helped me remember the faith in God who led me to the AT, JVC, silent retreat and carried me through is here to. I sometimes lose sight of God’s working on the macro-level of my life.

Well, I hope Tony and you enjoy your 50 mile trip in PA [It was fun. We had crappy weather, but otherwise it was a great trip]. From what you’ve shared, you seem excited to hike and spend time together. I miss mom and you very much.

Be healthy and take care.

Love Casey.

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