Mile: 704.7 to 721.5
up/down: 4500/1100 feet
New trip bird: Sooty Grouse
Our trail mom Terri took us to Kennedy Meadows this morning (Thank You!) and we were pointed north and walking just after 7:30. After 9 days off nothing seemed to work right. I know from previous breaks that the first day back hurts a lot. Today was no different. Tomorrow will be better and by the day after everything is numb and good to go. It certainly didn't help that we are carrying 7 days food and our snow hiking stuff.
The first bridge over the Kern came quickly and then a steady climb for several miles through an old burn got us to Beck Meadow. Monache Meadow was beyond and the second bridge crossing of the Kern soon followed. This was a lovely spot for a long break and some foot soaking in the cool water.
While we are in the Sierra now and water will come easier, we still have a couple days of travel with widely space sources. It was over 5 miles after the bridge before we came to the diminutive Cow Creek on the west slope of Olancha Peak. It isn't much of a creek but at least there is some water and we don't have to carry for dinner and breakfast. If you look back to my post from April 27 last year you will see a hike over Olancha Pass to Summit Meadow. We are camped tonight less than a mile from that meadow. It's a great campsite in a grove of Jeffery and Limber Pines at 9500 feet elevation. It's been a while since we've hiked this high and it only goes up from here. I hope my lungs remember high altitude hiking soon. As I sit here typing this a Sooty Grouse is calling from a nearby tree. Very cool.