Miles: 676.2 to 702.4
Miles: 26.2, plus .8 to the Kennedy Meadows General Store
For our last day in the desert, we woke up on a ridge in a cloud. Our stuff was wet, but fortunately not too wet. No droplets on the sleeping bags, just dampness in abundance.
And it was cold. We started down the ridge while eating breakfast just to get moving. Looking up to the nearest peak, there was blue sky and bright sun. Looking down below us on the ridge was also shining sun. The cloud was sitting right at 7,000 feet on us.
Once we got down under the cloud, it was just a matter of following the trail across the valley to area in direct sunshine. Then we were warm and happy.
We got a little more water to supplement our stores for the last climb in the desert section. It would be a long, but not terribly steep, ascent to 8,000 feet.
I was afraid my feet would start bothering me so I put in my headphones and let the music distract me. Richard listened to medical podcasts. The higher we got, the more clouds rolled in to cover the sun.
We were able to get completely up and over the peak before the rain came. And fortunately, it fell mainly on ridges around us rather than on is directly. We just got some residual drops. But the wind make its presence known for us. I looked forward to getting my wind jacket in Kennedy Meadows for the hundredth time since starting the trail.
My favorite part of the day was listening to old mix-albums my brother-in-law, Dave, made me years ago while hiking through pine needle lined trail as we slowly made our way closer to Kennedy Meadows.
We got to the General Store around 4:30 p.m. I immediately dropped my pack and took off my shoes. Inside the store we started a tab and bought a bunch of junk food.
We’d hoped to get a ride to a nearby diner for dinner, but they were closed. Instead we ate two bags of potato chips — the big bags — bananas, Gatorade and tomato juice. We had intended to add some canned vegetables to Ramon noodles but the chips and bean dip filled us up, if you’ll believe it.
We sorted through our food drops and fell asleep early, double checking that the alarm was off before we closed our eyes.