Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 9, 2011

June 9, 2011

Zero day number two!

Today was somewhat similar to yesterday, but slightly more productive. Maps were scrutinized, and food stuffs reviewed and placed in bear cans in preparation for the real beginning of the High Sierra and bear country. The plan is to push through from Kennedy Meadows to Kearsarge Pass and resupply in Independence or Bishop. During this stretch we will also be making a side trip to summit Mt Whitney!

A former thru-hiker, Huff'n'Puff, showed up today and gave us a rundown of the conditions from Kennedy Meadows to Kearsarge Pass since he had just done the section as part of an advanced snow course. It sounds like it will be interesting the next while through the high Sierra, but I am looking forward to getting into the snow, creeks, and alpine lakes!

After our preparations were complete we went down to the South Fork of the Kern River to hopefully go for a little swim and hang out by the water. We had trouble finding a calm slow section to go swimming in, but Tom gave us a ride upstream a little ways and dropped us off where he said he would usually go to swim. It turned out that the water level is higher this year and moving faster than usual, making the location less than ideal for swimming, and more likely getting swept down the river a ways. I don't mean to make it sound crazy, it just wasn't good for swimming. Instead, Speedbump, 12 Ounce, and I decided it would be a good idea to try floating down the shallow, rocky river on the foam sleeping pads we had brought to lay out on. It was a bumpy ride, but we avoided rock/water enemas, and rode down only a short way before getting out and walking the remaining way back to the bridge where we found others hanging out. Unfortunately the trip was not without casualties as I lost my flip flops down the river. On the plus side, they were from the dollar tree, but I feel bad about where they will end up littered along the side of the river somewhere. I just hope that they are together somewhere and someone else can make use of them down the line.

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