On my last day in Kennedy Meadows, I decided to go to breakfast with the gang before stressing about how I would get a ride down the mountain. 12 of us lined up just before 7:30 to catch the rumored ride 2.7 miles to Grumpy’s, a small cafe. We waited about half an hour before I decided to call on all of our behalf, I can’t be let down on matters like breakfast. Anything else I can live with, but not missing a breakfast I had been told was a sure thing. The guy agreed to come get us, and we all piled into his pickup truck to head down the road. He did not seem very grumpy to me. He was happy to have us.
It was in an old bar, equipped with a pool table and oodles of kitsch to keep us amused. A couple from Bakersfield had just bought the place, and were pretty much just open for us. We enjoyed the atmosphere, coffee, the pool table and conversation while they plated up 12 breakfasts, each with the eggs made to order, bacon, potatoes and big fluffy pancakes. In that time I saw Dejavu, a section hiker I knew was travelling north with a car. I asked if he happened to be heading the way I needed to go, and he was! He was more than happy to give me a ride straight to Bishop, which meant no hitchhiking, no expensive ride from a sketchy local, and no stress. I’m digging this going with the flow thing. Things really do have a way of working out.
I’ve been in Bishop for a full day and a half now. There is a great, brand new hostel here. It’s only $15, and one of the nicest places I’ve stayed this whole trip. The mattresses are all brand new memory foam, which is almost too soft after being used to my ridge rest…but hey, no complaints, I swear! I even went to the movies with new friend Hopscotch last night (The Edge of Tomorrow). The movie was kind of strange, as I haven’t seen much tv on the trip. Being in front of the big screen felt like being a kid again, and I even drank a cherry coke.
All of the people here are brand new to me. They are ahead of my group, as I had to skip forward to get to a town where I could buy shoes. It is a little strange, as they have all been together for a while. I’m a bit out of my element, even though they are still hikers, they aren’t my hikers. They have already hiked Whitney and been in the Sierra, I’m still behind and can’t relate to their stories. They are all nice, but I need to go back where I belong soon.
I will be backtracking to get back on trail, only missing a 40 mile section. Not ideal, but kind of hard to avoid…and it gives me a chance to catch up with my friends. Everyone tells me I’m not missing anything in that stretch, and it would be too hard to get a ride to Kennedy Meadows from here at this point. I accept this fate in the grand scheme of things, as I needed this time to heal. I’m not skipping to skip, it’s just how things are working out…and it is only 40 out of 2,660.
My feet are way better after 3.5 days of rest, and I bought new shoes today. They are Altras, which come with a wide toe box that feels like I could never get a blister again. They are popular shoes on the trail, so I have faith in them. Fingers crossed! This has me motivated to hit the trail just in time for the Friday the 13th full moon. I am ready to get back to hiking, and this is the most exciting part, the Sierra! As nice as the people around me are, I want to be back with the people I’ve grown to know and love over the last 700 miles. They are as much a part of my journey as the blisters, and I embrace the entire experience as a whole. If all goes according to plan, I will be on Mt. Whitney for Father’s Day with my friends!
That’s all I will write about the last few days. Bishop is awesome. If you come here, stay at the hostel if you can. The owner is awesome, the house is awesome, the location is awesome…you get the idea. Bishop is a great spot, and I would love to return in the future (which I may, since I will have to exit the trail to resupply again).
Here’s hoping my feet are up to the task, because the rest of me sure is!