June 18th & 19th
Whew! I was just able to load all the journals, pics, and videos from this past section. Sorry for the overload. I was going to stagger them, but more people were requesting them earlier and I know this is important info for hikers behind me. Please take your time going through them all because I will most likely not have much reception over the next seven days or so.
On Day 51, we had a short hike down to the trailhead and then needed to get a hitch to Independence and then to Bishop for a nero and a zero. We have been traveling with a pretty good pack, so we were not the only ones looking for a ride that morning. It took a couple hours before we could all get rides, but I think we were all so happy to be out of the snow, it didn’t matter. I do feel that we are all bonding more with everything we are all conquering together. Here’s the group. In the front row is Thumper, Stumbling Goat, Pounder, Chili, and Pine.
So after two hours of waiting and getting turned down by day hikers coming in, a miracle happened. TRAIL MAGIC!!! A large car drove up and it was the trail angels Honey Badger and UberBitch. As luck had it, the campground was being opened that morning and they were coming to set up to do trail magic for the next three weeks! We helped them unload the car and then Honey Badger gave the four of us (me, Top Shelf, Pine, and Blister) a ride to Independence. For days, we knew we were going to be coming in on a Saturday and the post office would be closed and we wouldn’t get our resupply and bounce boxes until Monday. I wouldn’t get my laptop! Ahhh! We decided to give it a shot and drop by the post office with our puppy dog faces on. Blister walked in and a woman was checking her PO box. Blister commented about it being closed and turned to walk out and the woman surprisingly knew the woman working in the back and yelled for her. She took pity on us and we got our boxes! Whoo-Hoo! Our lucky day! We had a great breakfast at Jenny’s Cafe and more luck came…we had to somehow get a 50mi hitch to the town of Bishop and thought it would be difficult. As soon as Pine walked out of the cafe, he barely put his thumb out and a car pulled over with room for all four of us! As luck would have it, it was a section hiker, Yellow Shirt, who was returning from a hike further south. He was purposely driving by the cafe to see if anyone needed a hitch and was headed through Bishop. Yellow shirt was 72yrs old and was awesome. He knew everything about the trail and the Sierras and it was great to hear him talk about everything we passed on the drive to Bishop. What a morning!
We spent the rest of the day and the next day relaxing after out toughest stretch yet. It has been great here! A lot of other hikers were here and even at the same hotel as us. I am loving the surprises of seeing everyone along the trail and in town and overlapping for short periods and then not knowing if and when you’ll see each other again. It was great to reunite with some who we hadn’t seen in awhile and hear all their stories of the challenges thus far. We finally caught up with Cow Bear and Punisher again. They have decided to skip up about 100mi and return later in the summer due to the high snow and streams. I still hope to see them later on and wish them luck.
I do need to mention that the Mt. Whitney video took forever to load and was being difficult all day today. Blister was awesome and we tag teamed it until it finally loaded! It seriously took all day and I was bummed it took away from my prospective hulu time. I’m so happy it finally worked though!
As for this next leg, I am trying not to freak out…it seems that most ahead of us have been able to make it through. Normally, this section to Vermillion Valley Resort only takes 5-6days, but everyone is packing 8 days of food because of how slowly we’re moving with the snow. EIGHT DAYS…IN MY PACK…GOING OVER INTENSE PASSES….I’m just going to breathe and take it one day at a time and hope it only takes 6 days. I’ll post if I can and until then, I hope all of this has kept you entertained!