600-700 Miles plus Kennedy Meadows

It’s been a bit since we’ve updated on LauTrav’s movements.  We knew we’d have a week as they left.  They’ve done fantastic, crossing not only the 600 mile mark but the 700 as well.  They are currently at Kennedy Meadows prepping to start out again. Kennedy Meadows is know as the “Gateway to the Sierras”.

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Lauren shared this:

“Oh, so much has happened since we left Tehachapi. After 2 zeros(no miles for the day) and a nearo(close to zero miles, usually less than 10) in Tehachapi we finally made it out. We felt like a queen and king at the Best Western with all the extravagant things such as fresh linens, real beds, running water, ice and a hot tub. Unfortunately we had to leave as we were draining the royal coffers too quickly. Between some rest, ice, and massage we finally got the swelling down from Travis’ ankles and by wrapping the right one we have kept the shin splints at bay. And just because Travis (and I) always have to be at opposites, as he healed I began to fall apart. As we celebrated crossing 600 miles my right foot started getting blisters, shin splints and swelling.

Yesterday we completed 652 miles and arrived at Lake Isabella. Little did we know a few hours later a fire was starting just 30 miles up the trail. We did our usual routine of hitching to town, finding the post office and trying to complete our resupply. When we got to the post office they had lost our 3 day box of food in another town. As they couldn’t get it to us in time we then hitched to the grocery store to buy new food. At the store we met a wonderful man named Pete who offered to wait while we shopped and then drive us the 11 miles out to the KOA. As we walked to Pete’s car 2 hikers approached with news that a fire had started that day and had shut down the trail for next 3 day section. 😕
When Pete dropped us at the camp ground he kindly asked what our plans were for the next day because the smoke made it clear we were not going to be pushing forward. I explained we would most likely have to find a hitch around the 50 miles of trail to get to Kennedy Meadows, a 2 hours drive away. Amazingly enough Pete offered his number and said to call him in the morning if we couldn’t find a ride.

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So this morning after being told the main road had been closed to Kennedy Meadows we called upon our newest trail angel, telling him we would pay for all of his gas and meals if he would drive us 2 hours around the other direction so we could hike another trail which would eventually get us to our destination. Pete not only refused any compensation but then insisted on buying us breakfast and driving us the entire 3 and a half hours into Kennedy Medows by the back way.

So here we sit at mile 702 with 3 extra days worth of food and the Sierra Mountains in front of us.”

Kennedy Meadow is a very small town just over 200 people.  Until PCT season.  Then madness hits from all the PCT hikers!

From Travis:

“Today (Friday) a man named Pete gave Lauren and I a ride to Kennedy Meadows.  The Chimney Mountain Fire closed the PCT the day we arrived on Lake Isabella. Knowing the closure would end the section for the season, and that identifying appropriate alternative trail options would take significant time, we opted to shuttle around the three day section to Kennedy Meadows and continue north. We were incredibly grateful to Pete as he went well out of his way to see us shuttled from the north fork of the Kern from Kernville all the way to K.M. incredible generosity from this trail angel!

Lauren’s (feet or gear) is falling apart. My shin splints/ankles are healing. Daniel and Erika got us a great gear hookup at Isabella yesterday. Marty nailed the resupply at Kennedy Meadows today!!!

K.M. is a zoo! Can’t wait to get into the mountains.”

So LauTrav are doing well.  They’ve been blessed with amazing Trail Angels.  In the past week, they’ve managed to complete California Section F! (ca_section_f_map).

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They are now in California Section G ca_section_g_map.  They are page 1.  There’s a nice, scary warning about hikers becoming ill after leaving Kennedy Meadows where they are currently at.  They are headed into the Sierra’s and you can see from Travis’ note, he can’t wait!!

The bottom left picture shows the upcoming hike.  The map is reversed.  The top of the map is where they are starting at.

While the Sierra’s bring a welcome change of scenery and climate, they have the potential to present some interesting challenges for LauTrav.  They will still be faced with some winter conditions through late June.  Some interesting information can be viewed on this link:  Sierra Comparison which looks at the conditions hikers face between Spring and Summer conditions in the Sierra.
Until next time.
~Linda  =)

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