Saturday, May 30, 2015

PCT 2015 -> Days 45-49 (5/26-5/30) (miles 703-790)

Out of Kennedy Meadows the PCT quickly enters the South Sierra Wilderness in Sequoia NF.  The trail follows the Kern River and passes expansive meadows before climbing up to 11,300 ft and entering Sequoia National Park.  After passing Crabtree Meadows near mile 766 the trail enters several plateaus with 360 degree views of the surrounding 13-14k ft peaks.  I climbed over Forester Pass in the early morning after camping along Tyndall Creek.  Forester Pass marks the highest point on the PCT at 13,200 ft and also marks the boundary between Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks.  Decending down Forester Pass the trail follows Bubbs Creek through beautiful Kings Canyon with 13K ft peaks towering above.  
I am currently in the town of Bishop CA resupplying/gorging on food after exiting the PCT over Kearsarge Pass.  The transition from the desert to the high
Sierra has been quick and incredible. Next up on the trail are several more passes at or near 12K ft and numerous alpine lakes.  Next update will be from Mammoth CA.

Kern River, mile 716

Mile 735 - Looking east toward Owens Valley

Mile 741 Camp
Mile 744

Chicken Spring Lake mile 751

Camp at mile 759 - Rock Creek

Crabtree Meadows mile 766
Mile 772

Big Horn Plateau mile 774
Camp at mile 775, Tyndall Creek

Camp at mile 775

South of Forester Pass, looking south, mile 777

Looking north to Forester Pass
Ricky Bobby on the Forester Pass ascent

Looking north on Forester Pass
Forester Pass

Looking southwest from mile 783

Looking north mile 783, Kings Canyon

Heading over Kearsarge Pass to highway 395

Resupply trail out of Kearsarge Pass

Bull Frog Lake, Kearsarge Pass trail

The Hostel California, Bishop 


PCT 2015 -> Days 35-44 (5/16-5/25) (miles 559-702)

The 140 mile section between Tehachapi and Kennedy Meadows is the final stretch of trail in Southern California and brings the desert and long water carries to a close.  The trail out of Tehachapi starts through windfarms and then follows highway 58 for several miles before climbing up through joshua trees and then into ponderosa forest for 20 miles.  The trail then descends back into the desert for 40 miles until climbing out of Walker Pass and into the Owens Peak and Chimney Peak wilderness areas, finally arriving at the gateway to the high Sierra, the small town of Kennedy Meadows.
I enjoyed the ever changing landscapes of this last section immensely and while I look forward to the high peaks, alpine lakes, and mountain streams of the high Sierras, I find myself missing the desert already. 

                  Mile 572 above the Mojave

Mile 572 camp

Sunrise mile 572

Another tasty desert water source 
Descending back into the desert mile 618ish

Dirt road walk near mile 640

Climbing out of Walker Pass with Sparrow and Paparazzi

Skunk roadblock in Owens Peak wilderness 

Final miles into Kennedy Meadows
Kennedy Meadows general store mile 702 with Dana, Julian, Sparrow, Holden, and Jesse
Deck scene at Kennedy Meadows 

First resupply for Sierras 

Friday, May 15, 2015

PCT 2015 -> Days 27-34 (5/8-5/15) (miles 445-558)

The last stretch of trail from the towns of Acton to Tehachapi had a bit of everything.  After taking two rest days my shin recovered enough to start hiking again and the first day back on trail started off by going through Vasquez Rocks Park, then a road walk through the town of Agua Dulce.  The next day I arrived at the Anderson's, a couple that hosts hikers and parties.  The following day involved a 12 mile road walk around a fire closure, and the next 2 days after that crossed into the Mojave desert and included a walk along the LA aqueduct, a strange place called Hikertown, walking through windfarms, some rain, and finally arrival in the town of Tehachapi.  It feels good to be back on trail and relatively healthy.  Next up is the final stretch of desert before the start of the.....Sierras!

Trail climbing out of Agua Dulce

Campsite above the town of Agua Dulce

The Anderson's

Road walk around fire closure

Morning fog and cold before dropping down into the Mojave

Mile 500 marker

Trail decending into the Mojave


Dirt road walk in the Mojave
LA aqueduct at 6am

Joshua Trees

Mojave windfarm

Trail near Tehachapi