Day 44 (Tuesday, May 31): mi 636.55 to Walker Pass (mi 651.29), 14.74 miles. (up/down: +1425/-2589ft)
I left camp early, around 6:10a, to beat the heat. I was excited for today as it is mostly all down hill. I would also be meeting my mom at the WP Campground to get a ride back to UT where I would spend a few days to wait for snow melt and see my dog! Without much effort I achieved 10 before 10 (traveling 10 miles before 10a). Along the way, there were beautiful views of snow peaked mountains in the distance. I also came across a strange sight. Scat right in the middle of the trail, with a snake in it! I really want to know what it was from – I am guessing a cat of some sort. The rest of the hike down, I kept my eyes peeled and scanned for critters.
The heat quickly rose making me even more determined to find shade and get to the pass. I took just 2 breaks all morning and made it to Walker Pass Campground at 11:30. I was happy to see some trail magic: water, and ice chest, snacks and wine (though I only helped myself to some cold water). I found a nice shady spot to hide in until my mom would arrive – hopefully around 2pm. Today, I also tested out my knee and didn’t where my brace for the first time since getting it in Julian. It turned out to do fairly well, but don’t know how well it would have turned out in a longer day.
I rested for a while and tried to stay somewhat cool. The couple from Ohio I had met rolled up in a car with one of their friends – beer and McD’s in hand, offering me some 🙂 I then joined them at one of the picnic tables. Squirrel and Clockwork joined and the couple soon left to go to town. Squirrel, Clockwork and I sat at the table enjoying our beer and some skittles until my mom arrived closer to 3 (their truck over heated on the way up). My mom was happy to offer hikers a small little wine bar, and socialize with the gang.
We eventually packed up and headed on our way to Salt Lake. I was able to check out some trail towns (Lone Pine, Independence and Bishop), and wasn’t too impressed. We ended up staying the night in the Bishop Von’s Parking Lot for the night.
Day 45 (Wednesday, June 1):
More driving. Nevada, yet again sucks. I bough my train ticket from SLC to Colfax
(going through Truckee).
Wow – am I lucky! On our drive, I learned about a fire that just broke out on/near the trail between Walker Pass and Kennedy Meadows. I had been thinking about pushing through to Kennedy Meadows instead of getting picked up at the easier accessed Walker Pass. If I had done that, I would have walked right into the fire at Chimney Creek Campground Area (mile 681). I guess I picked a good time to get off trail!