Day 1 (or actually day 2 in US)
We have been so lucky to have my hiker friend Ethan, trailname Dragonwarrior, picking us up at the airport and driving us around to fix a thousand things. Let us stay in his house and been just the best! So grateful for all my friends in the hiker family. Ethan was to leave for his hike around Yosemite and drove us the long way up to our starting point in Southern Sierras.
After 4,5 hour drive from LA we arrived in epiq Kennedy Meadows just in time to pick up our package from Gemma. Superhappy to finally get our new tent! Ate hamburgers and sat on the porch. Warm. Dry. Flowers. Hikers. It smelled like the trail. It felt like home. Trailhome.
When the sun set we went to pitch the tent and realize in our terror that we have received two inner tents and no rain fly! What's the odds Big Agnes??!! Jeez. The frustration is real. Were we able to get through 7 days to Kearsarge pass with only the innertent?? What about rain, wind, snow... Yikes. We had no choice. Anyway we could not fix it before morning. So unfortunate I could cry. We were insanely tired and fell asleep immediately in the hiker camp under a thousand stars.
Day 2 - half day 11 miles - 17,6 km
Woke up after quite a good night of sleep and went down to the general store to start figuring out how to get a new tent from REI. Ethan drove us up to Grumpy Bears where we had a huge breakfast with coffee, eggs and pancakes. Yogi, an epiq hiker and trailpersonality runs an outfitting store there; triple crown outfitters, and we went there to discuss our tent issue. After the longest Skype conversation I have ever had, being put on hold every other minute, the only result was that we have to return our tent to REI in Bishop and buy ourselves a new one. I really hope we find a good one... Buhu we were soo pleased with our Copperspur Ul3
Ethan drove us to the trailhead and off we went into the dry desert. Seeing the Pacific Crest Trail blaze was a bliss! The sun was burning and we were happy to finally hike out. The dry desert sand was covered in beautiful wildflowers everywhere and we hiked up and up through a small valley along a lush creek. It was absolutely gorgeous. The scenery changing every two mile, transitioning from desert to low mountain. We met our non existing hiker legs up in the hills, sun burning, sweat pouring. Pack so heavy! After the climbing up to 2500 m we were pretty beat. So we were extremely happy to find a great campsite in the trees by a small creek all to ourselves. Soaked our feet, made dinner and fell asleep tossing and turning through the night. Bright shining stars in the night sky and coyotes howling in the forest.
Day 3 - 18 miles - 28,8 km
Started the day calmly with coffee and no stress. Bodies feeling good. Packed up and hiked out straight out in the most beautiful meadow with views in all directions and wildflowers in all colors. We felt frisky and happy. Easy 4 miles hiking to our first waterstop; Kern river with a bridge fully inhabitated by swallows. We continued up throughout along the meadow and into a valley were we started a brutal climb up to 3200m, 10000 ft. We barely made it in the burning sun with our burning legs and lungs. Found a great lunch spot on a ridge in the shadows with views of the valley and mountains. Our feet needed some rest! Huge trees on the top of the hill and down the trail. Legs happy to walk downhill. Only 8 more miles to camp! We hike through dry desert with amazing rock formations, green meadows and sandy pine forest with carpets of the cutest mini flowers in yellow, orange and pink. It is so diverse, we are stunned. Finally we hit camp by a small creek. Yey! Put up camp, wash feet, stretch and make dinner. Hot chocolate inside the tent to escape the mosquitoes. Tomorrow will be a long day.
Day 4 - 16 miles - 25,6 km
Felt fresh and frisky in the morning. Cold! Frost on the bear cans. All clothes on, make coffee and pack up camp. As soon the sun sneaks up it gets warm very quickly and we start the morning with a climb up to 3300m, 10500 ft. The landscape is so amazing and peculiar with dry sand, big boulders and huge twisted trees. Our hikerlegs are awakening and the walking is easy even with the heavy pack. We have decided to hike down to Horseshoe Meadows and get a hitch into the city of Lone Pine to hopefully sort out our tent issue and have an OK day ahead of us. The hiking is easy. We lunch under an old pine and enjoy no sore feet. Yet. At Horseshoe we get a hitch immediately which was great and drive down down down into the small town. We manage to get a Big Agnes Copper spur 2 person tent and take it. Eat burgers and get a too expensive motel room. Sort out our resupply for our next long 10 day section, shower and now I sit here in bed writing this and drink beer. Pretty great I would say. So tomorrow we head up to conquer the beautiful beast of the high Sierras.
We'll keep you posted!