PCT 2007 Day 70
Day 70 / 6-3-07 Cowboy Camp 7820′
Kennedy Meadows – Monache Meadows South Fork of Kern River
13.9 (.7) miles; 716.7 (14.2) total miles; 2793.6 trip miles
Low 80’s, sunny, some clouds
Today didn’t start well for me. All I will say is I had an upset stomach for most of the night, so as a result I didn’t sleep well. I got up around 6:30 AM and packed my bear canister for the first time. It fit quite well in my ULA Catalyst pack. In certain areas of the Sierras one must carry an approved bear proof container to put your food in. Not everyone does and then there are people like me who have so much food they can’t fit it in even the larger containers. It will be a few days before I am able. Up to then, I will have to hope I don’t run into any bears. At some camps there are bear boxes one can put their food so that helps.
At some point in the day I must have put my pack down too hard and I crushed my titanium pot pretty good. My pack weighed a whopping 47 pounds when I weighed it before leaving the general store. That’s 7 pounds over the recommended weight for my pack.
We stayed long enough to eat at the Sunday breakfast the store puts on. I had all the pancakes I could eat (6), two eggs, two pieces of bacon, a sausage patty, and juice for $5.50. Since I wasn’t feeling all that great still I didn’t eat everything.
We got going by 10:20 AM and made good time. My shin was on my mind the whole time. I could feel it wasn’t 100% and as a result it started to hurt again. I went slow and can only hope that with the shorter days, Advil, Tiger Balm, and elevating it at night, it will get better. I also massage it when I stop.
The hike started out in the desert and we slowly climbed to almost 8000′ where we were in a nice pines forest. It was still hot but I was happy to be into the trees. Once to 8000′ we descended into our very first meadow, Beck Meadows. It was an amazing sight. The meadow stretched on for a couple miles and at the end it raised up into another mountain. Behind that first mountain we could see a treeless peak that was nothing but granite and it had a little bit of snow on the west side. It was my first view of a real Sierra peak. I was really moved by seeing this meadow.
We climbed some more before descending to Monache Meadow where we stopped for the night. The South Fork of the Kern River is just below our site and there is a nice foot bridge, too. We have cows grazing across the river. They have been calling each other in for the last 1.5 hours. It’s funny to listen to them, it almost sounds like the one calling the others is mad.
Our site is incredibly beautiful but when I asked Wounded Knee to rate it based on a scale from 1 to 10 against the rest of the Sierras to come, he gave it a 4. If I look north I see nothing but grassy meadows and one peak to the NW. The ridge leading up to it is blocking any other views to come. I can’t wait to see the rest of the Sierras. I just hope my shin gets better.
Scatman 2011- As you can tell my shin weighed heavy on my mind. Once again I don’t recall it being that bad, just like my feet on the AT. I can say for sure, I’m good at blocking out the bad memories. Beck Meadow blew me away. I loved it up there. If I could have I would have just sat there and stared at it all day. I can say without a doubt the Sierra was my favorite section of the whole trail. Going into the Sierra it was Wounded Knee, U.B. and myself.