4am alarm again. The wind never let up all night but none of my stuff had blown away. The moon was still shining brightly so I didn’t even need my headlamp to see to pack up.
I got on the trail quickly and had the longest climb of the day out of the way early, luckily on the opposite side of the mountain from the rising sun. I didn’t feel the greatest but I was apparently making great time. The wind stayed cool and helped me along, in addition to some trees showing up again and getting to be in shade much of the time. The temperature has definitely dropped though because being in the sun was extremely hot but not unbearable like it has been.
By 11am, I had already made 15 of my 21.1 miles so I decided to keep going through siesta to get to the road. I had planned on the 7pm bus as a backup to hitching but I knew there was a bus sometime after 2pm too that I could go with instead.
I got to the register just before the road and saw two messages for me, one from Stretch saying she’d gotten there so early and wasn’t going to wait for me to hitch, and one from MamaGoose saying she was just ahead and to catch her at Kennedy Meadows.
It’s a long hitch to Lake Isabella from Walker Pass, 38 miles, but there’s not much in between so most people driving by should’ve been going there. I still stood for almost an hour. I had a couple offers to get part of the way there but I prefer to hitch from the trailhead so people know what I’m doing. I stuck my thumb our for a bike with a sidecar but he shrugged and pointed at all the luggage filling up the sidecar. Unfortunate for me. Finally a guy did stop and a few of us piled in.
I met Stretch and some others at the motel and picked up a care package from my VT/NH friends at the Castle. It was the greatest care package ever: a mix of town and trail food, including wine and maple syrup! Thank you, Tim and Jenn and Aaron (and Foster)!
Since I was in town earlier than expected, I was able to relax with the wine and then do my resupply after dinner.