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May 2022

Day 58: Mile 878.7 (VVR) to 884.4

I have reached a point in my hike where I realize that I sleep better in the wilderness than at a hotel. While my bed at Vermillion Valley Resort was objectively more comfortable than my 3-inch sleeping pad, I’m a warm sleeper and always end up sweating in hotel beds. I love the fresh air… Read More »Day 58: Mile 878.7 (VVR) to 884.4

Day 51: Zero in Bishop, CA

While I had never planned on taking a triple zero in Bishop, CA, this unexpected break was a chance for my body to rest and heal. My feet have recovered incredibly fast, although my fingers still sport lots of minor cuts and bruises. Tonight, I’m staying at Eastside Guesthouse, a genuinely lovely hostel that’s much… Read More »Day 51: Zero in Bishop, CA

Day 50: Zero in Bishop, CA

The Bishop area is well known for hiking and climbing opportunities. There are no fewer than four outfitters within a four-block radius! I took advantage of my second zero day to fine tune my gear a bit. I sent a few items back home to shed weight. For example, instead of using an inflatable pillow,… Read More »Day 50: Zero in Bishop, CA

Day 49: Zero in Bishop, CA

Bishop, CA is pretty nice as far as small towns are concerned. The charming town center features Old West facades, murals, several outfitters, and various dining venues. Several major grocery stores are located at the periphery of the town, a mile away from the historic center. After spending the night at the Best Western, I… Read More »Day 49: Zero in Bishop, CA

Day 48: Mile 774.7 to 788.9 (Kearsage Pass junction) through Forester Pass + Kearsage Pass Trail (Bishop, CA)

As I drifted off to sleep yesterday night, a hint of anxiety lingered in my mind. What would be my experience ascending Forester Pass, the highest point of the Pacific Crest Trail? And more importantly, how would I fare descending the potentially treacherous northern side, which is still blanketed in snow? Today turned out to… Read More »Day 48: Mile 774.7 to 788.9 (Kearsage Pass junction) through Forester Pass + Kearsage Pass Trail (Bishop, CA)

Day 47: Mile 766.3 (Whitney Creek/Mt. Whitney Crabtree Ranger Station) to 774.7 + Mt. Whitney

My alarm woke me up shortly after midnight, and I emerged from my quilt in a daze. I did not get much sleep—some hikers were up chatting near my tent until “late” in the afternoon. I had a quick breakfast while assembling the basic essentials for my night-time expedition to the summit of Mount Whitney:… Read More »Day 47: Mile 766.3 (Whitney Creek/Mt. Whitney Crabtree Ranger Station) to 774.7 + Mt. Whitney

Day 46: Mile 756.5 to 766.3 (Whitney Creek/Mt. Whitney Crabtree Ranger Station)

Today’s 10-mile stretch to the Mt. Whitney “base camp” (officially known as the Crabtree Ranger Station campsite) was short but demanding. In the morning, the trail descended gently towards Rock Creek, steadily losing elevation over four miles. The conditions were perfect: we were blessed with comfortable temperatures and a cloudless sky. Shortly before Rock Creek,… Read More »Day 46: Mile 756.5 to 766.3 (Whitney Creek/Mt. Whitney Crabtree Ranger Station)

Day 45: Mile 735.1 to 756.5

Today’s stretch was relatively easy. We covered a distance of over 21 miles with an elevation gain of just 2,694 feet. The trail was smooth and well graded all along. My companions and I started hiking leisurely at 7am. The sun was already up, shining brightly on a perfectly cloudless day. In the morning, we… Read More »Day 45: Mile 735.1 to 756.5

Day 43: Mile 702.2 (Kennedy Meadows, CA) to 716.5 (Kern River/Monache Meadow)

Breakfast “service” at the Kennedy Meadows General Store was on par with dinner: slow and disorganized. While Grumpy’s churns out huge breakfasts from their professional kitchen like clockwork, the General Store employs a single staff member who cooks on a tiny grill. The “all-you-can-eat” offer also turned out to be a scam, since the “kitchen”… Read More »Day 43: Mile 702.2 (Kennedy Meadows, CA) to 716.5 (Kern River/Monache Meadow)

Day 42: Zero in Kennedy Meadows, CA

Kennedy Meadows, CA, is quite the experience. To say that the locale is remote is an understatement. The community is, literally, off the grid and the closest “town,” Inyokern (a one-hour drive away) is merely designated as a census-designated place. According to the official sign, Kennedy Meadows is home to 200 residents. According to the… Read More »Day 42: Zero in Kennedy Meadows, CA

Day 36: Mile 558.5 (Willow Springs Road/Tehachapi) to 583.3 (Golden Oaks Spring)

I am back on trail after a double zero in Tehachapi, CA. Once again, I dodged a weather event. Yesterday’s forecast called for persistent fog, low temperatures, and a wind advisory—a dreadful prospect when hiking through wind farms. Fortunately, the wind abated somewhat today. Weather considerations aside, today’s stretch was almost comically underwhelming. It seemed… Read More »Day 36: Mile 558.5 (Willow Springs Road/Tehachapi) to 583.3 (Golden Oaks Spring)

Day 35: Zero in Tehachapi, CA

Day two of my double zero in Tehachapi, CA was a lazy day. We relaxed at the pool and drank beer in the hot tub. That’s officially against the rules, but the hotel is decidedly hiker friendly—they even have a hiker box in the lobby—and the staff didn’t bat an eye. Joe, Michael, and I… Read More »Day 35: Zero in Tehachapi, CA

Day 34: Zero in Tehachapi, CA

Today is day one of my unscheduled double zero in Tehachapi, CA! I was supposed to arrive in the afternoon, but made it a day early after crushing 40+ miles yesterday. Mountain views aside, Tehachapi is as bland, uninspiring, and boring as possible—the epitome of the American suburban nightmare. The town center boasts a Walmart… Read More »Day 34: Zero in Tehachapi, CA

Day 32: Mile 508.1 (Horse Trail Camp) to 517.6 (Highway 138/Hikertown)

Today’s 10-mile jaunt took me to Hikertown, a quirky unofficial hiker hostel located next to the Pacific Crest Trail near Neenach, CA. Hikertown is a popular stop on the PCT: it is a convenient resupply stop, but also a place to regroup, both physically and mentally, ahead of the daunting Aqueduct walk through the flat… Read More »Day 32: Mile 508.1 (Horse Trail Camp) to 517.6 (Highway 138/Hikertown)