Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 43. Snowing!

18.2 miles
702.3 (Kennedy Meadows) to 720.5

Blue Yonder, Me Too, and I debated about staying another day in Kennedy Meadows due to the forecast, but this morning there were blue skies so we headed out. A few hours into the hike SlowBro caught up to us. Had some great conversations while hiking with him.
It began raining and then snowing midday. Even in my raincoat and rain pants I could not hike fast enough to stay warm. Not eating enough probably also didn't help. 
 We ran into a group of outward bound students, and their instructors offered to share their fire with us. I warmed up a little and got some calories in me and felt much better. Honestly before we stopped, I was really worried about how cold I was getting. I was considering putting on my sleeping clothes, and risking getting them wet. My hiking clothes are the ones I wore through SoCal- not warm at all. I'm so grateful for those guys for being there for us.
After crossing the Kern River and passing through the valley, the snow started letting up. Without the constant wetness, I warmed up a little. Enough to appreciate the beauty of the snow. MeToo joked that it felt like January. So Blue Yonder and I started singing Christmas songs, trying to come up with PCT-related lyrics to traditional carols.
As afternoon wore on, we climbed to where the snow was deeper. We decided not to push on to even higher elevations even though we stopped at only about 6 PM. But we are at 9000 feet! Today was tiring not because of the hiking or even carrying the extra weight of the bear canister, but from being so cold. That really takes it out of me.
Finding a campsite proved challenging for the tenters, but SlowBro and I had more options for our hammocks. I'm really glad we are all camping together. It feels much safer to be in a group in these conditions.
Honestly, I'm worried about staying warm enough out here. I don't have the winter clothes I normally hike in at these temperatures. But at least we are going to town so I can switch my gear.

I'm also wondering what I'm doing out here in this snow. Even though it is a low snow year, we are very early- the traditional day to leave Kennedy Meadows is June 15. And it's only May 21st! I thought I felt prepared by taking a snow course. I thought I felt like I could take on anything after finishing SoCal. But honestly I'm doubting myself as I lay here in my hammock thawing out my frozen toes. Hopefully, the sun will come out tomorrow and things will feel different in the morning.


  1. Funny, we ended up running into Blue Yonder near Chicken Spring Lake. She took a break with us and told us about the snow journey from KM.

    1. OMG that's so awesome! Yes, Blue Yonder told me she saw you all. So cool and such a small world. Hope you had a great trip. That Chicken Spring Lake was absolutely gorgeous!

  2. Joan could you send me pictures that you took of MeToo on trail while you was hiking. I'm working on a book for Xmas.

    1. Yes absolutely! How cool! What is your email address that I can send them to? Mine is