Stage one survived (Posted 19 June 2012, 03:24pm)
36.01, -118.13

"There is nothing in the desert and no man needs nothing."

I am sitting next to an electric fan in a trailer park in Kennedy Meadows, the promised land. We have walked 700 miles (over 1000km!) and are 1/4 of the way to Canada. Kennedy Meadows is considered the gateway to the Seirra Nevada mountains and also marks the end of the desert section. It is such a relief to be here.

Marcus and I have walked the last 140 miles separately. My feet were (are) in bad shape and I decided to stay a few extra days in Tehachapi to let them recover. Marcus went ahead and has been waiting for me here. It has been a really hard section - the toughest of the trip for me. The distances between water were long and we began carrying 7 days of food. It has also been extremely hot and the shade very limited. I ended up walking much of the section with another couple of hikers, Uhaul and Scallywag. Uhaul is a doctor who spent 6 months working in Opunake so it has been nice to talk and think about home.

The desert has been a struggle for me mainly because of the extreme heat. Water has become an obsession and I am now acutely aware of its importance to survival. It has however also been a very interesting section because the environment is totally foreign. It has been great to see the animals and trees that can survive such a harsh conditions.

Ahead of us are the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. It is perhaps the most beautiful section of the trail and it will be cooler and water will be much more readily available. We are now well and truly in bear country and Marcus saw a bear cub on the last section. This means we are now burdened with large plastic containers called Bear Vaults which we are required by law to carry. Resupplying food is challenging because of the remoteness of the area but we have sent food ahead to ourselves. We are lucky that it is a particularly low snow year so we will not need to carry crampons and ice axes. So on we go.

Signing the register.


Return to full list of posts

Trail Mail

Enter your email address below to be notified when this blog is updated:
Receive notifications for:

Map (View larger)

Recent Check-ins (View all)

21 I made it.
15 About to catch the last bus for the season out of Stehekin and planning to walk out of America in four days time on the last day of my visa...
09 It looks like some bad weather is finally on the way. My rain gear might actually get some use! Tough climbs ahead but getting closer to Canada each day and with great group of fellow stragglers.

22 Quick stop in Cascade Locks to shower, do laundry, resupply, eat and 'rest'. Across the Bridge of the Gods, over the mighty Columbia river, into Washington today - the first day of autumn.
13 Resupply for Washington all sorted with some help from Mum, who is visiting on her way home from Europe. Now it is time to escape Bend and resume the race to Canada.

Photos (View all)

Blog Archive

30 True to the thru (Part 4 of 4)
30 The waiting game (Part 3 of 4)
30 Something was wrong (Part 2 of 4)
30 A story that needs to be told (Part 1 of 4)
21 "I knew Typo would make it" (Part 6 of 6)
19 Throwing the Hail Mary (Part 5 of 6)
10 Up and down, but not out (Part 4 of 6)
06 Crossing Cutthroat Pass (Part 3 of 6)
03 Warming up in Winthrop (Part 2 of 6)

30 We're sleeping in a toilet (Part 1 of 6)
25 Another radio interview (Audio)
21 I made it
04 Nearly there

29 Trail Magic
19 Walking with Mum

28 Cold food
28 Hello Oregon!
20 40 miles in one day
08 Official trail name: Typo
06 (Humbolt) Summit Fever
06 Road walking around a wildfire

30 Two trail birthdays
18 A picture is worth...
10 Pain and gain in the Sierra

28 Hiker hunger
27 The inquisitive marmot
19 Stage one survived
05 Live from the Mojave (Updated)
04 I just walked 500 miles...

31 Current nemesis: Poodle dog bush
23 Mexico to McDonald's
23 Gear review: Sleeping pad
18 Hot and getting even hotter
12 Videos
12 Wildlife
10 People on the trail: Sunset
05 Eagle Rock
03 Hiker discount: 100%

30 The beginning
25 Final preparation
17 Blogging along the way
16 No publicity is bad publicity
08 Walking before the walk
08 Maps for the trail