I slept in a bit, got up and packed my things. I called jessica to wish her a good week, this will be the last time I can use my cell to contact her for a while. There is a payphone in Kennedy Meadows, but no cell service. I was on the trail by 7am and it was already pretty warm out. Looking at the elevation map, I knew today was just a shit ton of more climbing. I prefer to knock it out before it gets too hot.
After 5 hours and 12 miles I stopped to take a mid day siesta. I found a nice spot on top of the mountain amongst the conifers, rabbits, and gnats. They are horrendous, constantly trying to fly in my mouth or nose. I want to kill them all. From my lunch spot I only have 7 miles to the next planned camp for the night, so I'm excited to eat some food, nap, and get the last stretch taken care of for the day. It's incredibly silent up here. No wind. The occasional bird song, and the sound of my brain thumping to my heart rate. I love it up here. I wish I could share this with my friends back home. I miss them all dearly.
After about an hour of trying to hide in shade from the sun I packed up and continued to the next stop. Everyone was down at the creek to refill water and we headed to the final stop for the night. The last climb was hot and steep. It's just the beginning of the last mountain we have to hike before we get to kennedy Meadows tomorrow. More and more hikers from the RV park started showing up at our site so we all had dinner together, smoked cigarettes and weed, and talked about plans for kennedy Meadows. Zorro and The Viking (two massive dudes with massive packs) showed up too. I was hiking behind them for a little while last night.
We have a few more days before we have to ascend the Sierra and tomorrow the trail will walk along the kern river for a few miles. I heard it's a really nice spot to stop and swim/camp/whatever. We might just stay there tomorrow instead of rushing to KM. That will mean shorter miles and more time for relaxing on the river. It's a rare thing to have a chill day on the trail. There is so much pressure to crush miles. But I may forego that. The moon is almost full tonight so it's a beautiful evening in my tent writing this post.