Day 53 – Hilltop by Chimney Creek to Kennedy Meadows, 24kms

It was cold last night but I slept so well and warm, it felt very luxurious. There was ice on the tent when we got up to an excellent sunrise, clear skies and a view of snowy mountains so much closer than before. As we only have 15 miles to make today we ate breakfast in bed and I made coffee for everyone and delivered it room service. 

We had such a relaxing walk down the hill we had camped on top of to a small stream. Justin is a nutty powerhouse and ran 5miles down hill in 1 hour!!! He was long gone by the time the rest of us arrived and had second breakfast and second coffee with some new pals we just met Trout and Strider.
We hiked on through increasingly beautiful alpine scenery. We passed Domeland, a ridge chockers with granite domes and pinnacles, and walked up a narrowing valley in and out pine forest and meadows till we came to the mighty Kern River (South Fork). The Kern was swollen and rapid when we first found it, with flooded banks and a moist wet smell we had not smelt for ages; this is the first reliable water source for the whole trail, this is the end of the desert!!!

Of course at our first available opportunity we got in, how could we resist. Trout and Strider joined us and we smoked a joint on the banks afterwards relishing the heat after the icy water. Hiking quite stoned is a new experience for me and the last 4 miles of the hike flew by! We arrived at the 700 mile marker and pulled silly faces. At one stage the whole landscape seemed to be made up of blues and oranges. And before i knew it there was Goliath waiting for us at the road so as we didn’t have to walk the 1/2 mile to the General Store. What a legend!

Everyone seems to be here, as in everyone we have ever met on the trail. Pinecone got to see Randy her favourite trail ‘dad’ and Jitterbug arrived after a weeks holiday in San Francisco, we never thought we would see her again. After pitching our tents in the campground behind the store we picked up our 8 packages that we had sent ourselves or had been sent by our parents and Mia (thanks guys!). Between them we got 8 packets of dehydrated peas 🤘. Goliath, bless his hiking socks, drove us and about 50 million other hikers down the road to the pub where I struggled to finish a double cheeseburger it was sooooo big, but also delicious. Justin had managed to put away 3 burgers by the time I ate mine. 

Grumpy Bear Inn

A rattle gator

After another snow lesson Goliath had to go as he is off to the beach with his wife. We will miss him and his never ending generosity and pranks, such a cheeky guy! But he said he will come and find us again in a few weeks with his wife and pup. Goliath i know there is a good chance your reading this, thanks so much, please expect postcards and you always have a home in Australia when you come and visit. After helping Justin finish his beers and chatting on the porch we finally went to bed after our first excellent day in the Sierra!

A dad interpretation of how to self arrest

2 thoughts on “Day 53 – Hilltop by Chimney Creek to Kennedy Meadows, 24kms

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