6 May 2021
Bird Spring Pass to Walker Pass
PCT Mile 630.8 to 652.1
Today was pretty straightforward. A big climb up from the desert in the morning, a nice walk through the forest, a sucky treeless road walk through a burn zone in the heat of the day, then back in the forest and a big descent to the desert.
Trail angel Jim set his alarm for 5am to make sure we had fuel for the big climb.
Then it was up into the Kiavah Wilderness. Button and I had a big free-flowing discussion about politics and economics on the way up, and before I knew it we were at the top.
I hiked by myself for a while and even did a little cross-country to explore the woods a bit. And then, in the heat of the day, the trail turns onto a dusty road through a shadeless burn zone.
I caught up with Button and Lone Wolf at the end of the burn zone where we found some shade for lunch.
We started making a plan for the Sierra. I have to go to Lone Pine to get my bear can, spikes, and ice axe, so I will be pushing ahead while others take a zero day in Kennedy Meadows.
But then after lunch when I set out by myself again, I did the math and realized I would need to do a double zero in Lone Pine to align my schedule with theirs. So instead I decided to take one zero in Kernville and then one later in Lone Pine.
Once I realized I was going to town, I started hiking faster downhill. I had to remind myself to enjoy this afternoon’s hike, which was very pretty.
So here’s the thing. I want to go to Kernville today, but the bus doesn’t run on Thursdays. I thought I would have to hitch, but then guess who I found at Walker Pass?
Sixes had transported the packs for some hikers from Bird Spring Pass to Walker Pass so they could “slackpack.” One hiker was already there, but we were still waiting on another when this happened:
I could get used to this! Thanks so much Sixes!
Soon Lone Wolf showed up, and he also got the royal treatment.
And even better — Sixes was on his way through Kernville to take the other hikers to a hot spring. So Lone Wolf and I got a ride with them all the way to our hotel.
Maybe I will learn how to hitch some time!
The Kernville Inn was booked but they helped us get rooms at Piazza’s Pine Cone Inn. Then shower, laundry, and a trip to the famous Kern River Brewery for a beer flight and a buffalo chicken salad.
The only issue now is how to get back to Walker Pass after our zero day tomorrow. Maybe we *will* learn how to hitch!
My feet always fly
Alas, past all the beauty
When racing to town