Miles Hiked: 16.6
PCT Mileage: 1016.9
I woke up to ice on my sleeping bag and frozen water bottles this AM. I was too cold to get out of my sleeping bag until 6am. I watched Apache pack up in the meantime. I was glad I only had to go 16.6 miles to town. It feels like I’ve had to hike over 20 miles into town the last few times I’ve gone in. I was really looking forward to getting to Sonora Pass and Kennedy Meadows North. It would mean the Sierra section of the PCT is complete! I also really needed a rest day as I was feeling incredibly fatigued again. The five mile day out of Tuolumne did nothing for me. I left camp after Apache and woke Bahama Mama up. My first mile was so slow because I was so tired. Then I ran into The Italian (emphasis on the I) who helped me pick up my pace. I met him at Tuolumne meadows and was glad to see him again. He kept me company until I had to stop for water and eat some snacks. My stomach was grumbling despite just eating breakfast. I dug into my bear can ravenously as everyone hiked past me.
As I continued on, I could see the big climb I had up ahead. I saw other hikers traversing some snow fields and got nervous. They looked big, but maybe the trail bench was wide and I couldn’t see it. When I got to the climb it felt like my pace slowed even more. Luckily the trail bench was really wide but the trail was small gravely rocks and it felt like I slipped backwards with every step. It was exhausting. Even my entire upper body felt fatigued. When I got to the top I was happy to see Bahama Mama (aka BAM) and The Italian sitting down and eating. I had another snack because I was hungry yet again. Today was the first day I’d start to have hunger on the hour every hour despite stopping frequently to eat. The hiker hunger is here in full force. I hiked with BAM and the Italian for the rest of the day. I was so glad to have company as we had a few more snow traverses going into Kennedy Meadows. They were longer ones and made me nervous because I did have spikes. It ended up being fine. The Italian was really nervous too because he had a traumatic fall on one of the passes in the Sierra. We stuck together. I can’t imagine there being more snow than we had out there. I thought today would be the scariest day of it was totally covered in snow. A fall would mean falling all the way off the mountain most likely to death if you didn’t use an ice axe to self arrest yourself properly.
The going was slow and it made me even more glad I had a short day of hiking. All the snow patches made it so you had to take your time getting to town. Probably not a bad thing for me. I did the last downhill all the way to Sonora Pass with BAM and hitched into Kennedy Meadows North down a long windy road at the bottom with her, the Italian, and Downhill Daddy who I met at the road. The first thing we all did when we got there is sit down at the restaurant for lunch.
Kennedy Meadows North was much like Kennedy Meadows South. A rustic little outpost where everything takes way longer than it should. The biggest difference is that KMN was crawling with families on Vacation. I wondered if it was the first week of this all starting. I don’t think I’ve seen a crazy tourist area like this on the whole trail. All the families were camping and horseback riding. While we waited on our food that took forever, we took turns going into the lodge to rent a bed for the night, get wifi, shower tokens, and the lay of the land. For lunch I had a tiny salad and chicken tenders with fries. As much as I was glad for the town food, I was disappointed in the lack of fresh food options. The bed was pleasantly surprising. I thought it would be a bunk bed but I got a normal sized twin bed all to myself! I shared a room with three older men and another young girl who is section hiking south by herself.
I started doing my chores such as laundry, shower, and resupply shortly after dinner. I wanted to have everything done so I didn’t have to worry about it. Plus everything took twice as long to do as it normally would. I hung out with other hikers for a little bit, but I spent a large portion of the day just laying in my bed on my phone. I needed chill time so bad and I had to upload over a weeks worth of missing blog posts from the Sierra Section.