Oh my, Kennedy Meadows (the gateway to that Sierra Nevada mountain range) is so freaking close. And guess what that means?! No more desert!
No more desperate searches for shade or legitimate concerns on whether the water updates are correct. No more forced 3-4 hour forced siesta breaks or trying to figure out how you can physically not touch anything as you wait out that sweltering heat.
Ahhhh, the desert! I’ve complained too much about you lately and I need to apologize for that. You have actually given me so much. Between the sun, heat, water, and critters, you were my biggest fear on this trail. I will not say I conquered you: you are nature and can not be. I did learn how to live with you. My body actually did adapt and I went from needing 1 litre per 3 miles to being ok with 1 litre per 5. I’m so proud that I’ve (almost!) made it through. I had no idea if I was going to be capable of getting through but I now don’t think a 20 mile waterless stretch is terrifying and have the knowledge that I can carry enough for 30 miles. I have now experienced draught first-hand and water consumption concerns go beyond the news and articles I’ve read. And the night hike until 1am along the aqua duct with 10 other hikers, singing and telling stories, will always be a highlight. Oh, desert! I don’t hate you…but I do look forward to something new.
I still have about 8 days of hiking left, which includes another large waterless stretch, before hitting Kennedy Meadows. I’ve teamed up with Firefox so her and I will be meeting Mom at Walker Pass (85 miles) where we’ll collect the rest of our food and then a mere 50 miles will take us to Kennedy Meadows. Rumour has it this next bit is pretty tough but I’m ready! Adrenaline and excitement will get me through!