Danger Ahead April 26, 2015

Woke up freezing cold. It was all my fault, I rinsed out my socks in the stream to late in the day.  They had no chance to dry so I wore them all night.  They were dry in the morning, but it came at a price.  Knew it was going to be a long day 37-40 miles still Kennedy Meadows and I only had enough food for the day and possibly tomorrow’s breakfast.  The Fog and wind made it a bone chilling morning.  Climbed to the top of the trail where it stayed high up.  Came upon a saddle, the wind had to be gushing at 40 mph.  It was blowing me around like a ragdoll.  As I couldn’t see what was on the other side of the saddle.  I was extremely cautious.  It could of been a two hundred foot drop or just the same on my side.  The fog was so dense, my visibility was down to about 20 feet.   I stayed in the crouch position bent over at a fifty degree angle leaning into the wind.   I sprinted about every fifty feet stopping behind pine trees to catch my breath.  I made it thru the windy saddle.  It took a ton of energy and I was in need of a break.  With the temperature so low, I couldn’t stop.  I staggered another mile, warmed up just enough to sit down out of the wind.  My hands were so frozen, I couldn’t unbuckle my two pack straps.  Finally, got the pack off and the first thing I saw was a bag of Ramen.  Oh I never thought uncooked unseasoned Ramen could be so delicious.  As I feasted like a king, some massive flurrys dropped as well as my temperature.  I had to keep moving forward, so I stuffed my mouth.  I came to a creek to replenish my water supply.   I did about 17 miles at noon.  It was an extremely tough morning, but I still was hoping on reaching Kennedy Meadows by night.  On my last big climb it started to lightly rain.  I still had no rain gear and it didn’t look like it was going to last to long.  I pushed on starting to descend to the South Fork Kern.  On the non-stop 7 miles down it started sleeting on me.  I didn’t think the day could get any worse.  Made it to the river were the wind elevation and wind dropped.  I was able to follow the river all the way to Kennedy Meadows General Store.  Scott the guy that worked there was cleaning up and shutting down for the past hour.  He still let me come in and buy a loaf of bread, peanut butter, jam, and a much needed big bag of chips.  He said I could set up my tent or crash in the trailer.  I was dog tired and didn’t want to set up my tent, so the trailer was the answer.  As I walked in I met Paul aka Tic Toc.  He was hanging out for a couple of days healing a massive blister on the bottom of his foot.  We hit if off, found out he took a side trail to KM and was going to go as far north on the PCT as possible.  He called the rustic beaten down trailer “The Hilton.”  There was dog food under the couches that the mice had gotten into.  I noticed a calendar on the was from 2009, that must of been the last year someone had stayed in here.  But all in all, it was still nice to kick back and relax in “The Hilton”

Knotts