Kennedy Meadows(702.2) to Monache Meadow(716.5) 14.3 Miles
Today was one of my most difficult fourteen mile days ever. My pack is ridiculously heavy right now. I don't think I've ever carried seven days worth of food. Once you add in the bear vault it must weigh close to twenty pounds. My shoulders, back, and legs were immediately angry when I put my pack on this morning. I did find a better way to pack things today. I managed to get everything into my pack so that nothing is hanging on the outside except for my ice axe. We took our time leaving the general store this morning. Since it was going to be another really hot day we decided to hike 4.5 miles to the river and siesta there. Before heading back to the trail we took a family photo in front of the store. I think it turned out well.
I think we all struggled to make it to the river. I had to take a break only 2.4 miles into my hike. By the time I made it to the river my shoulders were killing me. I was definitely ready for a break. I found Outro and The Wolf swimming in the river. It was the most water I've seen in 700 miles!
We spent the hottest part of the day sitting and swimming in the river. It felt great to soak my feet. Eventually it cooled down enough to start hiking. We still had ten miles left to hike for the day. I was really looking forward to our planned camp spot, so I hustled to make it into camp before dark. I forced myself to take it two miles at a time. If I thought about hiking the full ten miles it seemed unmanageable.
The ten miles went in between nice meadows and desert terrain. I really thought the desert was going to magically disappear at Kennedy Meadows, but it has continued on sporadically since we left. I made it to camp just as the sun was setting. I got a great picture of Outro enjoying the sunset.
Our camp was amazing. It was right next to the Kern River and an amazing meadow. I got most of my camp chores done before it was completely dark, but I still had to eat dinner in the dark.
Tomorrow will be an exciting day. We have our first high elevation climb of the Sierra. We go over a mountain pass that is at 10,500 feet elevation, but at least we won't hit any snow yet.
The world's big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.