Day 49: We awoke the next morning to the sound of a rooster crowing and I had slid off my pad and nearly off the ground cover. Paul was wrapped tightly in his bag migrating as well. So maybe it wasn’t the flattest piece of real estate. We wander onto the deck just in time to order breakfast burritos. We are definitely taking a Zero today and will graze the day away with the rest of our fellow hikers. As we wait for our turn in the burrito cue (they are made one at a time…no fast food here), Rainman has scored a tub of Nutella and some wassa crackers from the hiker box and we indulge.
Many hikers are still awaiting packages. We wait our turn and do laundry. Three dollars to wash our clothes and dry them via a clothes line. Good thing the sun is out. We also score a hot shower (outdoor hillbilly type shower) for three dollars each, and we get a clean dry towel and soap. I finish my shower only to discover that the flimsy wooden door between me and the tired shower curtain has swung open on its own which now explains the draftiness. We are hoping our tent arrives via FedEx Air today. It appears that a free standing tent is a good call as there is some weather soon to arrive (rain at KM and snow at higher elevations and Whitney). Everyone is discussing the upcoming weather as new bear barrels are stuffed and packs rearranged or configured to fit the barrel. ( Bear barrels are required for the next three hundred miles to protect your food from bears and bears from sugary human food that rots their teeth.) Those that are fast (and younger) hikers plan on leaving in the afternoon, provided their resupply packages arrive. They do not, and mostly did not, plan on summiting Whitney, so they think they can make it to Lone Pine before it rains or snows on them. We on the other hand are not as fast (or young) and I need to heal up before we tackle the Sierras… besides we’ve already done the freezing rain and blizzard thing. No need to repeat that experience if we can avoid it. I spend most of the rest of the day with my leg in an ice bucket with a steady dose of Advil to help with the swelling. Paul shares stories and chips and catches up on the latest issue of Backpacker magazine. Not as many beers tonight though…they are out of Coors.
Day 50: Our tent arrived late afternoon but it was the only thing from FedEx that came which was unusual. One woman is really PO’d cause she paid for “guaranteed” overnight delivery through FedEx and she has been waiting longer than us. Rainman, Tarzan and Assawaggen all left last night. Indy and Art Gypsy are staying one more night, so are we. We have a chance to test out the new tent with the rain/snow on the horizon, which was a good idea. See, the tent didn’t come with instructions and it took us three attempts to get it right. At least we got the mistakes out of the way.
Day 51: Glad to have a tent as it threatened and rained just a bit, but was mostly windy and cold. Much warmer that way. Today rained most of the day, but we lucked out and were able to score a camper for tonight at PCT trail angel Tom’s Place so that we could pack up a dry tent and be ready to set out tomorrow… Weather permitting. Shin is just about 100%. We opted to rest the shin another day and wait out the weather. More hikers left today with the skies looking dark with heavy clouds. Slow bro, Me too , and Hemlock left early before the rain. The temperature has been dropping all afternoon and we can’t help but think about how our fellow hikers are fairing up on the mountain. Dinner tonight was at the Grumpy Bear.
Tom gave us a ride to the restaurant. While there we were surprised to discover that Arizona had just made it into KM and had decided to dine at Grumpy Bear too.
Had a great meal and reunion with Arizona. He will zero at KM and probably catch up to is in a day or so…even if we leave tomorrow. On the ride back from Grumpy Bears we could see that the clouds had lifted and could see the higher elevations were covered in snow. Our decision to wait out the weather is looking better and better.