Date: Saturday, 03 June 2017
Start: Walker Pass, Hwy 178 crossing, at Mile 652.1, 5276 ft
Finish: Campsite by the trail at Mile 665.1, 5263 ft
Daily Miles: 13.0
Total PCT Miles: 665.1
Weather: Very warm and sunny
Breakfast: Potato skillet meal
Dinner: Spanish rice and tuna
Highlight: More funny than a highlight. I decided to try my luck hitchhiking out of Lake Isabella on the entry ramp to a freeway, about 30 metres before a NO PEDESTRIANS sign. It wasn’t a place where I had seen any other hikers hitching in my day and a half in town, but seemed an obvious place to me, though I suspected the police might not approve. I took my pack off and turned to thumb the car I heard coming up behind, and it was a police car. He gave me a good stare, but didn’t stop. Twenty minutes later, I got a lift.
Lowlight: Motivation was a bit low today, not helped by the heat, so I just did the minimum miles necessary to get me to the Kennedy Meadows General Store, my next resupply point, by Monday afternoon as planned.
Pictures: Click here
Despite the two star motel and its inconvenient location, it was tempting to book in for another night or two and just take it easy in Lake Isabella. However, sadly, that’s not my style, and I checked out at 7:30am and wandered down to a coffee shop near the town freeway bypass entrance from where I hoped to hitch later.
For the umpteenth time in the last two weeks I met a Canadian girl (26yo from Toronto) who seems to be vaguely meandering her way north along the PCT. After a slow breakfast, I headed to the freeway ramp and began hitching, prepared for it to be a long wait. But after about 20 minutes a guy stopped and took me about 10 miles to an intersection where I got another lift 20 minutes later. Both drivers were involved in the outdoors, the first marketing kayaks, and the second a mountain climber and white water kayaker who had lots of good stories.
I was dropped at Walker Pass and was hiking again by 10:20am. It was warm, and of course, the trail climbed, mostly on the exposed eastern slopes with views far out into the desert below. It was 12 miles to the first water source, and I decided that any miles after that for the day would be a bonus. I was lacking energy and moving slowly, but had no trouble catching a boy scout troop on an outing after about an hour. It was sad to see the sterotypical little overweight kid trailing along behind the troop, but at least he was there. I surprisingly caught a few other PCT hikers as the trail passed through the Mt Owens Wilderness and climbed to 7300 ft before descending into desert country during the afternoon.
I reached the spring around 4pm, loaded up with water, and walked another mile to a saddle where there was a place to camp, getting there at 4:30pm, early for me to stop. I went through the usual routine and climbed into my tent at 6:30pm, tired enough to go to sleep straight away. It was heaven to lie down on the bed. I don’t think I’m particularly sick, just lacking in motivation today.