Sunday, May 19, 2019 – 8.20 miles
My tent was dry and the sky was blue when I woke up at 6:00 AM. That’s… not what I was promised… I had been planning to wait out the bad weather in my tent, but when no precipitation materialized except for a sprinkle of rain during breakfast, I decided to pack up and start walking.
Rockhouse Basin was beautiful. The mountains to the north were dusted with snow from overnight precipitation.
A cloud bank behind the mountains was releasing mist down a valley (hereafter Precipitation Valley) to disappear into the basin.
The trail passed the south fork of the Kern River.
I was tired from yesterday and rested near the river for awhile before continuing on to Kennedy Meadows. I’m not sure what I had imagined would be here – a store on a grassy field with other, less relevant buildings in the vicinity – but also lots of tourists. There was no grass and the streets were deserted. A sign listed the population as 200. Immediately I started to suspect that I was going to be stranded here. Boston Chris had mentioned that hitching out of Kennedy Meadows was ‘more difficult’ than hitching out of Walker Pass, but the hitch looked actually impossible. Zero traffic. Nightmare.
At any rate, I arrived at the Kennedy Meadows store, where I received the standard applause (unwarranted since I have yet to hike 100+/702 miles) and met several hikers who I had seen but only said hi to over the last few days. I also encountered Kata and Fly, who were camping at Grumpy Bear’s rather than the store. I quizzed people about which was better to camp at. It sounded like the amenities were fairly similar, though no one mentioned that the shower at Grumpy Bear’s was indoors – I would have gone there if I had known, but it seemed easier to just stay at the store, which has a forested camping area out back. The store itself has fewer goods than I had expected, and it’s expensive, but luckily I was only resupplying for a few days from Cajon Pass to Wrightwood. Later I heard that Yogi’s place has more selection and better prices.
In the afternoon, snow began falling and we all clustered into the store. I ordered a hamburger, which was decent.
After playing country music all day, the store switched to rap while I was charging my phone on the deck in the evening. But then I heard the lyrics ‘sittin’ on my tractor’. I’m so confused. All I know is that I didn’t need this music in my life.