Miles 702.2 – 702.2
Waking up well past what I had been used to was a treat, even if my head was throbbing a bit and my body was desperately needing water. Today was a planned zero day, a day to refuel and re-energize and what better place than the general store at Kennedy Meadows. After an hour we hopped into the back of a truck and took the short ride down the street to the Grumpy Bear Retreat, a restaurant that is known for their pancake challenge (Not the real pancake challenge that takes place is Seiad Valley, CA). I’ve never been a huge fan of pancakes personally, I think they’re great for no more than five bites . . so needless to say I did not partake in this challenge.
After breakfast we walked across the street to Triple Crown Outfitters, a brand new shop that is in a crucial point on the trail. It’s owner is Jackie McDonnel aka Yogi, a thru-hiking beast and co-author of everyone’s PCT Bible “Yogi’s Pacific Crest Trail Handbook.” Although Yogi wasn’t there, her partner “Worldwide” Matt Signore was and he was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Definitely a must see place when you are in KM.
There was one downside to being in Kennedy Meadows in mid-June of 2017, the fear mongering. More than half of all hikers this year would not be entering into the Sierra, opting to “flip-up” to Northern California or even Oregon, hike north to the Canadian border and then come back to where they had originally flipped to and hike south to back to Kennedy Meadows to complete their “thru-hike”. This is all fine and dandy if that is what you choose to do but it was shocking how a lot of these people would try to scare others into adopting the same game plan. To me there was never a choice of flipping or skipping, I was a northbound hiker and my plan was to do just that. I had to bite my tongue on multiple occasions there in KM and walk away from certain people. It was sad to see so many people applying their fears to others, but luckily my group never succumbed to these fear-hucksters. We were going straight through, and that was exciting.
For the rest of the day we basically just got our gear fine-tuned and ready to go for a departure into the Sierra for the following day. After our chores were done we had a few more beers, played a couple of games of chess, and ended the night with an amusing bonfire.