Miles 630.8 – 652.0
We started the day by signing a trail registry, then immediately climbing up a 1,700-ft mountain. I remember feeling strong on this particular climb, for no particular reason that I can think of. At the top we took a short break to eat a morning snack and enjoy the views, which were unbelievable. Today we would be getting off trail to resupply and enjoy some town services. Today we were going into the small town of Lake Isabella.
Once that initial climb was out-of-the-way we had pretty much knocked out the strenuous portion of the day. Over the next 16.6 miles we had an exact ascent of 1,524-ft and a descent of 3,324.5ft. Whenever your day consists of going downhill more than twice that of going up, it’s looking good. It’s a science really . . up bad, down good.
We all sort of did our own thing for the rest of the day, most of us choosing to hike alone. It’s nice to hike in a group that doesn’t NEED to be next to each other every step along the way, knowing that we will all meet at a designated spot at some point before nightfall. We arrived to Walker Pass Campground at mile 651.3 around 5pm, and the five of us piled into some guy’s F-350 and he drove us straight to the KOA just outside of Lake Isabella. We instantly became quite fond of this KOA for one reason: it had not just any bar, it had a ‘Bring your own beer’ bar. For the next few hours we played games and relaxed on bar stools, munched on snacks and ate ice cream, and drank just enough to feel the pain the next morning.