I still have service, and I have time, so I thought I would do a quick update so I’m that much less behind when I get service again.
I got incredibly lucky getting here today. I got up at six and walked down to the highway to hitch before seven. Bishop is pretty sleepy at seven on a Sunday morning, but within five minutes I got ride from a cool dude who lives in Tahoe City and just spent the last week or so climbing near Whitney. He dropped me off in Independence.
I walked a half mile or so up the road towards the trailhead, by the museum of old wagons and stuff sitting in the yard across the fence, and waited for someone to come by. I even deployed my “Hiker To Trail” sign across my pack, in case that wasn’t obvious. Talk about a sleepy town on a Sunday morning! It was about 15 minutes before the first car came by. They didn’t pick me up, but right behind them was Lefty (Poncho’s Dad) the proprietor of the Mt Williamson Motel and Base Camp where I stayed the other night! He had Pika in the back but room for me too! Such a cool guy. I can’t imagine a better ride up to Onion Valley.
So, I was going to be happy if I got to the trailhead by noon, but I got there about 0820. My pack is heavy, but I can do anywhere from 10 to 13 miles today (I need to camp where I can put the food that doesn’t fit in my bear-canister in one of the bear boxes), so I can go slow, and take breaks, today. Truly, it’s a beautiful, warm day, I am feeling really happy about all my new gear, and I expect to have an awesome day. The kind of day I came out here for.
(Post Trail Edit: This post is a little misleading, and maybe I didn’t even realize it myself at the time, but the “10 to 13 miles” are PCT miles. It’s a tough 7.5 miles from Onion Valley back to the PCT. So it should have been “I only have to hike between 17 and 20 miles today”. Yeah, I don’t think I realized it at the time. Turns out, I hiked that heavy pack 24.5 miles. Ouch. No wonder I was hurting the next day.)