Kennedy Meadows – dirt road
0.7 road walk + 13.1 pct miles.
2413ft up. 1193ft down.

A remarkably warm night in the teepee. I got so hot I had to take off some layers in the night. I hope the locals were right about it being a cold snap and it getting warmer going forward. We all got up and hung out on the deck outside the store, waiting for Scott. It was a bit chilly and we questioned our decision to leave the warmth of our sleeping bags. But the sun soon came up and we stood in the patches of it. So nice to feel the early morning sun on your face.

We were there for a while, the sun got more intense and I was stood leaning against the side, staring at the road a willing Catwater to appear, when I felt faint, again!! I’m not sure what this is all about. I sat down, drank a bit and I was fine. Walking Mantis, who was waiting to get coffee, didn’t want to wait anymore so he headed out, breaking free of the little vortex. Only a couple of minutes after Scott opened the store.

I had an idea. I would take up Scotts offer of using the phone he made yesterday and I would call Marvin who has access to Catwater’s tracker. So I spoke to Marvin who told me she had camped only a few miles back and she should be there any time now. Just as I put the phone down I see Catwater walking up the road!

We did some more sitting and chatting and catching up on the last few days. She got her resupply, I managed to squeeze in another dirty Mountain Dew and a whole can of Pringles and eventually it was time to get moving. After saying thank you to Scott for all his kindness over the last few days we hiked out with Decaf and Strings decided to say a while and wait for his mates who are a little behind him.

It was now 11am and the sun was pretty intense, a lot hotter than it had been for a long while. Off we went into the desert. There is no water for 20 miles and we didn’t think we would make it that far so we went out fully loaded with water. Me with 2 litres, Catwater with 3 and Decaf with 4! I had already drunk a litre this morning and a soda so I was more hydrated than normal. Decaf said he wanted to hike its us but he soon pulled ahead and we didn’t see him again for the rest of the day.

My bag was heavy with 7 days of food and 2 litres of water so I was moving slowly through the heat, trying not to raise my temperature too much. I reach for some snacks only to find everything it melted. Frozen or melted…surely there must be a happy medium?

The first few miles were gently rolling but tough going through the sand. We passed the 700 mile mark, for us that means only 700 miles to go. Now we are in the desert there is little shade so when I saw a patch of trees I made a beeline for them and sat in the shade for a while. Ahead of us is a fairly big climb, it felt never ending coming down it last year so I’m imagining it or be pretty brutal going up it.

Thankfully we were on the shady side of the mountain so it was a bit cooler when we started to climb. The trail dips in and out of the side of the mountain, just when you think you’re approaching the top another line of trail appears. There were. I campsites marked and we were hoping we would find somewhere suitable along the way. At 5pm we reached the dirt road. 2 miles from the top of the climb and 6 miles away from water. We weren’t sure what our options would be at the top regards to camping so we decided to call it a day on the dirt road. We had enough water to dry camp.

It was the first night in ages that I could just sit in my tent, without it being a mad dash to get all my layers on and into my sleeping bag in a fight to stay warm. I eat my ramen and I eat a packet of tuna! My first tuna for so long and I really enjoyed it! It was in oil and they are the best kind. I had chips ahoy for dessert, and at this point, with the sun going down I’m still not even in my sleeping bag!


I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps.