Day 22: Kennedy Meadows

Start: Mile 689.2

End: Mile 702.2

Miles Hikes = 13.0

When Donna and I started this section hike over one month ago, our goal was to reach Kennedy Meadows. So this morning, I was excited to hike the final thirteen miles and complete the southern most 702 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Donna, despite her knee problems, completed almost 400 of these miles.

I knew today would be a relatively easy hike – it was downhill for the first few miles and with some minor up and downs for the last nine miles.

I again was up early and on the trail as the sun slowly rose higher in the clear blue skies over the southern Sierra.

At the bottom of the morning’s descent is Manter Creek where I met a nice young couple from Belgium that are also section hiking the PCT.

Their names are Augustine and Clementine. I started singing:

“Oh my darling, Oh my darling, Oh my darling Clementine”

I thought I was being so clever by introducing them to an old American western folk song.

“I’ve heard that so many times” said Clem.

So much for being a clever.

I continued hiking towards Kennedy Meadows and enjoyed the scenery in Rockhouse Basin and caught glimpses of the South Fork of the Kern River.

Eventually the trail got close enough to the river that I could see and hear the water cascading down the canyon.

Eventually I passed the 700 mile marker!

Soon I arrived at the General Store at Kennedy Meadows. As I approached the store I received the traditional applause from the hikers on the deck.

Several day’s ago, I arranged for an Uber driver to pick me up and drive me to Ridgecrest where I could rent a car and drive home. Shortly after arriving at the General Store, I received a text from the driver stating that he had hit a rock on the curvy road up to Kennedy Meadows and now his car had to be towed. Hmm???? I asked around and nobody knew anyone that I could hire. Also, there was no cell service, only weak WiFi at the general store. So, I decided that my only option was to try to hitch a ride. I didn’t like my chances – there had not been many cars go by on the main road down the hill.

No sooner had I walked out to the road and put my thumb out, I got a ride! Foy and Heather offered to take me down the hill and incredibly ended up taking me all the way to the Enterprise car rental office in Ridgecrest!!! I couldn’t believe my luck and how kind and generous they were to go out of their way to help me out.

There is a saying that “the Trail provides”. Maybe there is some truth to that but Foy and Heather just proved to me that there are damn nice people in this world that are willing to help people in need. Thank you Foy and Heather!!! You guys are amazing Trail Angels!!!

My only option is to be thankful for their kindness and find a way to pay it forward.

A few hours later I was home.

Thanks for reading.

7 thoughts on “Day 22: Kennedy Meadows

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