Thursday, June 12, 2008

Still at Kennedy Meadows

I'm still at Kennedy Meadows, taking a zero day. A zero day is a day you don't progress any miles on the trail. I'm posting some thoughts here mostly because my last post was so long. Here is my last post about hiking from Tehachapi to Kennedy Meadows in case you missed it.

It's so nice here. It was a bit chilly last night. I'm probably going to freeze above 10,000ft. There's probably nothing I can do about that, though. I am jealous of the puffy 800-fill down jackets people got in the mail here, though. My Patagonia down sweater will have to do.

At the General Store they have a hiker box, which they usually do at these places where the hikers all stop. A hiker box is a pile of unwanted junk. Most of it should be thrown away but sometimes you find something good. I found a foam pad. I thought I would try it out tonight and see if having two foam pads is warmer and more comfortable. If it's not too much extra weight, maybe I'll bring it. I won't have to carry a ton of water any more so maybe I can add a little luxury.

I hear that Kennedy Meadows General Store is for sale. Wouldn't it be nice to own it? Well, maybe it would be too much work. How would you like to come to work with 30 hungry, dirty people already staring expectantly into the window and cooking breakfast on your porch?

Down the street from the store is the Internet cafe. It's an Airstream trailer next to a big tree that is full of hammocks. I spent a couple of hours swinging in a hammock and playing my pennywhistle. I almost fell asleep in the hammock. I may go back out there and spend a few more hours in the hammock. I think most people have their priorities all wrong. Really, what more do you need in life besides a trailer with solar-powered Internet and some hammocks?

Last night they made those of us who signed up for dinner T-bone steaks with baked potatoes, salad, roll, corn on the cob, cake and ice cream. We all enjoyed it immensely and felt sorry for the 5 SUVs full of Italian students who were turned away and really terribly sad for the two late-comer hikers who were also turned away. I have never seen such sad and hungry young men in my life. One of them ate a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's for a pre-breakfast snack this morning.

It's funny how things change when you become a long distance hiker. You read the labels and reject the low-carb, low-cal, low-whatever items. A pint of ice cream has about 1400 much-needed calories. Unfortunately, I'm not quite that kind of long distance hiker. My metabolism is slow enough that I avoid the pints and completely pigging out. I'm not really all that hungry anymore anyway. But it's definitely a shift in thinking and you really start to understand why people in America are so fat. If they would just walk 20+ miles a day they could happily eat all this food.

I hear there is going to be a huge party on Saturday. Even the Andersons of Casa de Luna are expected to come. The news has caused many hikers to decide to extend their stay, and many of us to get the heck out of town before then. I'm in the latter camp.

I'll write again at the next Internet access, whenever that will be. Maybe Lone Pine (which I may arrive at on Monday the 16th, sorry Tony). Maybe Vermillion Valley Resort. Maybe somewhere else. Thanks for your nice comments. See you down the trail.


  1. Hi Diane

    I too am following your hike. The energy, insights and humor you put into your posts is amazing and appreciated......I think it may be the best of the 2008 PCT journals.
    Good Luck going north and we will all be waiting for more tales from the trail.


  2. I'm enjoying your blog, Piper. Your mom (known for the summer, she writes, as "Piper's Mom") sent me a copy of your emails. What a great adventure! Loved your song. And comments like paying attention to smells of hikers (both good and bad) and priorities of an Airstream with internet and hammocks. And hiking 20 miles/day to be able to eat pints of ice cream.

    Keep hiking the trail, and you'll see your trail angel mom before you know it. Keep sharing your experiences -- I'm lovin' it.

    Joan (who lives in your old Alpine Dr. house)

  3. I am enjoying your posts. The posts are well written and have interesting content. Hope yo have a god walk through the High Sierras. I would expect to see you mileage drop when you hit the mountains. The altitude can take a little spring out of your step although each day you will acclimate.