Here it is, the town we have all been waiting for! Well, maybe town isn’t the right word for this spot but we are here! There is water and grass everywhere and we are thrilled to have made it past the 700 mile mark and are still going strong!
We left the trail at mile 702.4 and headed up the road into Kennedy Meadows, actually we skipped and sang a little song we made up the whole way- it was a real highlight of our trip so far! We were originally planning on staying with trail angel Tom, but we seemed to have arrived on a day that he had a lot of other things going on at his place so we opted for the General Store instead. The Kennedy Meadows General Store is the only thing in ‘town’, but it is everything. They have really perfected the art of catering to thru hikers there and this is one of our favorite trail stops thus far from both thru hikes!
Thru hikers are don’t need a lot to make them happy but most have the same basic needs. Food, showers, electric, a place to set up their palace in a flat spot and cold beer or chocolate milk. KM General Store has got it down. When we arrived we were greated by the clapping of about 40 other hikers who greet each new arriving group with an increased amount of excitement as the day goes on. Friends old and new greeted us as we walked up the steps, Buddy was so excited to meet everyone and eat his weight in cheeseburgers. When you arrive here the best thing to do is to give the wonderful woman at the register your debit card and begin a tab. We ate delicious burgers, drank really good beer and chocolate milk, played chess and checkers all night and rested in the backyard of the store with 50-60 of our closest hiker friends. The store closes when it’s ready in the evening but allows all the hikers to keep their party going as long as they wish on the side deck and encourages everyone to have great time and stay as long as they want.
The next day we showered, did our laundry, ate more burgers and picked up some packages we had mailed there. One of which was from Honey Badger, a friend on Facebook, who so kindly is letting us borrow her bear canister while we travel where it’s required. Not only did she send the canister but she also sent all sorts of goodies for Buddy and a really sweet note wishing us well in our travels. THANK YOU HONEY BADGER- You Rock!
So as to not fall too far behind the bubble we have been traveling with we decided to leave the second night and at least get out of town and back on the trail. We hiked a few miles and for the first time slept next to a river on the trail! This was the first night out in our first section of the Sierra and we were stoked! A friends mom was slack packing about 20 people’s gear up to Lone Pine and although we had a bad experience with our food not being there in the last section, when she offered to drop our bear canister off at the camp ground we gladly accepted! This is going to be another 8 day section from Kennedy Meadows to Independence/Bishop so we had a lot of food to carry. We packed out only two days worth of food to make it to the side trail where I would hike down and retrieve the bear canister.
Our first night out in the Sierra was amazing and we are really looking forward to this next section, to climbing Whitney and rocking the rest of this trail!