Day 71, July 13, Upper Vidette Meadow to Onion Valley, 10.3 miles (16.6 km)
Ten miles seperated me between camp and town. To get to town I had to to about 7.5 miles off trail. The first miles were spent on the pct, walking over a flooded trail. The heavy rain from yesterday plus the snowmelt created a lot of streams and creeks which I am pretty sure they normally are non existing. Oh well, my shoes and socks were wet anyway.
I came to the junction to Bullfrog Lake and was soon walking next to this lake that is set in between massive peaks.
I could see Kearsarge Pass towering high in front of me and kept climbing till I got an top of it. Standing on a pass always gives great 360 degrees views. There defintely was more snow on the east side of the pass. The lake deep down below me was still frozen and while descending from the pass I crossed quite some snowfields. I even glissaded down one. This means you just sit on your ass and slide down the mountain. I did a small one yesterday when coming down from Forester Pass but today’s one was much longer thus much faster. It’s a fun thing to do, but your ass gets wet and cold. Pro’s and con’s.
The closer I got to Onion Valley, which is at the bottom of Kearsarge Pass, the hotter it became. The temperatures in the Sierra’s are so much more enjoyable.
Onion Valley has a campground but the road to it is closed about half a mile from it because of a washout. This means that cars are parked alongside the road so Scott, a JMT hiker, and myself walked over there and saw a guy getting ready to get in his pickuptruck to ride down the mountain. We ran over to him and he immediately agreed on taking us in the back of his truck. Twenty minutes later, after a nice 13 mile ride down the mountain, we were in the small town of Independence.
I picked up my box and bought two ice cold cans of coke.
While enjoying my drinks a guy drove up the parking lot of the shop saying he gives rides to Bishop, which is a much nicer, hiker friendly town, for some donations.
Steve, the driver, dropped Jesse, Scott and myself at the motel we were planning to stay and we each gave him ten dollars. Not bad for a 40 mile ride. I think I call him when I want to get back to Onion Valley to continue my hike into the Sierra’s.
We agreed on showering first before going for food and drinks.
An hour later we were at the local brewery to get fueled up. They serve food as well and I must say, one of the better meals I had in towns so far. The evening progressed, you know how it goes, and there must have been at least 25 pct hikers in there at one point.