Went to grumpy and the bears for oversized pancakes in a pickup truck with 20 other hikers stuffed in the back. After that checked out Yogi's outfitter. She sells gear out of her living room. She's hiked over 20,000 miles. She told me to ditch my water proof hiking boots that I just had shipped. I milled over buying those damn things for two weeks and now I have to say I just don't like how they feel. I'm sticking with trail runners for this first stretch.
I had a lot of anxiety this morning about the next section. Sometimes I get too much in my own head. Hearing about fatalities from other recent hikers in the eastern Sierra makes me a little nervous. The snow melt is massive and rapid, and is creating extremely dangerous river flows in some of the main areas we have to eventually cross. A woman died trying to climb Mt. Whitney a couple weeks ago.
We gathered all of our hiking cohorts together this morning on the porch to discuss a safety and hiking plan. We're teaming up. Mowgly facilitated ground rules and we came to agreements on what we will do. The main objective: no one hikes alone and no one is left behind. It made me feel a million times better. We decided to stick with a 6/10 departure date, which gives me an extra day of rest and beer drinking.
I spent the rest of the day doing chores: laundry, shower, sorting through my new gear. Mowgly had a family member pick her up and take her to Lone Pine so she called jessica for me to let her know what our plan is and when we will be getting to Independence. Getting a hold of her or any of my family has been impossible. I had a couple unsuccessful attempts getting through to my folks on the pay phone. I wasted $5 on quarters trying to do it.
Kennedy Meadows is loaded with hikers. New ones coming in every day. Hundreds of packages being delivered. Lots of beer and cigarettes being consumed. All while folks rest before entering the next section. It's sort of like purgatory here. It's weird, and also unique. I've met a lot of people, most of them super nice and a little crazy. One more day of rest and it'll be my turn to hit the road.