Thursday, June 7, 2012

7 June - Day 47 - Up into the start of "God's country"

From Kennedy Meadows (Mile 702.2) to Monache Meadow Trail Junction (Mile 720.2)

Total Trail Miles Hiked today: 18

Pan (Charles) here.

The day started early at Tom's place with me getting the kitchen running about 5:45 am. (Tom had said the night before that unless he could find volunteers to cook & serve breakfast, there wouldn't be any ~ so I volunteered tho we wanted to hit the trail right away.

The breakfast crowd around 6.30 am -- Masa, Desert Fox, and Wolfpack in the foreground -- in the back, Dionysus chatting with Double Sprainbow in the green jacket. Her wit and comic relief were priceless! Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Johnson.

The breakfast crowd at Tom's. On the left, Rapunzel with Seano, Dionysus, and Pan obscured (taking a break from pancake flipping). On the extreme right, Qball. Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Johnson.

Pan making "pan"cakes on a large propane stove. Seano is to the left. That down "sweater" Pan is wearing he swears is worth its weight in gold. Montbell! The pancakes weren't bad, either. Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Johnson.

I started the big burners on pots of yesterday's coffee, then got water boiling for fresh. Hikers showed up right away. Sidekick (Sean) & Dionysus (Chris) were working right beside me. The mob grew bigger and bigger. As the caffeine began working its magic, voices got more animated and cheery. We made gallons of coffee and it all got drunk up.

After coffee, we put the griddles over the two burners and began work on pancakes. Someone fished a container of butter from the hiker box. Mrs Butterworth syrup was the only other condiment.

We had such fun chatting with Double Sprainbow while all this was going on (she then helped with washing as we had run out of forks). And with Rapunzel, who helped out serving. Lots of folks offered to help ~ and so many thanked us.

When I made a big one, I'd call out "Horse blanket!" and someone would shout out for it.

Finally, 200 pancakes later, we shut down operations and handed the kitchen back to Axel.

We got packed. Hard to believe the 11 days worth of food to get us all the way through to Mammoth Lakes would fit. But it did.

Our packs weighed 43 lbs when we finished. With 18 lbs base weight, this meant 25 lbs of food for 11 days ~ a bit over 2 lbs per day (& 3000 calories/day - not good enough for Dionysus). We grabbed last minute additions from the store, then with many warm farewells to our trail friends, we headed out. Our friends Rubylocks (from New Zealand) and Calf (from Germany) hiked with us.

The trail took us thru extensive pinyon woods, then out into open sage scrub "meadows" where we got our first glimpse of the distant peaks above timberline. Wowie!

That's me with the gray backpack -- and another thru-hiker ahead -- heading north into the Sierras.
From left to right: Rubylocks, Dionysus, Pan, and dimly ahead of us, Chris (not ours).

We ate supper (Mountain House! Yay!) on the banks of the South Kern River by a hiker/horse bridge. Green grassy banks. Swallows by the dozens.

Suppertime for us all (and across the creek The Donald and Last Minute were finishing up supper). Calf and Rubylocks are with us in the photo [Dionysus is the photographer].
Seano chef.

Then up into the woods higher and higher. R & C camped by the creek, while we three went up the pass trail and camped under big Jeffreys. Cowboy camped and it was cold until we got our long underwear and wool socks and balaclavas on.

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