June 16, 2015 (10th Re-Ration – Lone Pine)
Tentsite before Bullfrog Lake Trail (788.6) to Onion Valley Trailhead – Lone Pine (7.5 on Alternate)
.2 PCT miles, 7.5 Alternate miles (Kearsage Pass)
826.0 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: Unknown
On these neros and zeros it is extra hard to find time to write. Actually, it’s hard to find time for anything really. This morning Pickles and I woke up on the trail, nothing but chirping birds and a sunrise to occupy our thoughts. Then we hiked off the PCT, got picked up by Mama Bear and driven to Lone Pine for the night, and before we knew it time was once again flying by and I was overwhelmed by our long to-do list and my ever-growing level of stress. I really tried hard to do better this time around, and to be fair, much of the day was actually very enjoyable, but I’m sorry to say that I still didn’t completely avoid an off-trail stress-out.
The 7.5 mile hike over Kearsage Pass (off the PCT) was beautiful and a worthy hike in its own right. We reached the pass right as the sun hit our trail, and took in great views of lakes on both sides of the mountain range. We got down to the Onion Valley campground by 9am (2 hours earlier than planned, which always happens on nero days) and Mama Bear was right there waiting for us (she had stayed in the campground the night before).
After packing up Mama Bear’s campsite, we drove into Independence and were met with some disappointment – the shoes I ordered and paid extra to have delivered quicker still hadn’t arrived. Also, a package that we were waiting on for Pickles wasn’t at the post office. A bit peeved, but mostly just starving, we drove to Lone Pine and indulged in a much anticipated Subway lunch. After that we checked into our room at the hostel in town, and got busy unpacking, taking showers, and doing laundry. The hostel was the perfect place to stay and a super welcoming accommodation for hikers. Actually, the whole town of Lone Pine is very hiker friendly since it serves as the starting out point for Mount Whitney hikers, a stop-over for PCTers, and the finishing point for JMT hikers.
The whole rest of the day was spent taking care of chores and putting together our food ration (which is much larger this time around and getting us quite excited). This evening, Pickles, Mama Bear and I went for Chinese food – a rare treat – and now, after crossing a few more things off the list, we are finally going to bed.
I did do a bit better not over-indulging in sweets today, so I’ll go ahead and count that as a success. I’ve also realized that a lot of the “stuff” that I have to do in town could really be done on the phone when we have 4G, so I’m going to work on taking some time on the trail to get stuff done so I have less to do during our too-short days off. I’ll probably just start to get the hang of these neros once we get toward the end of the trip. I figure if I’m going to be bad at either on-trail or off-trail time, I’d choose the latter. At least I know that when we get back to the PCT tomorrow morning I’ll be able to breathe a big sigh of relief and finally relax.