I sleep till 6am and feel awesome. I sit up see that few people have left and braved the heat while others remain cocooned in their sleeping bags. We congregate around the table, a few down beers others eat junk food. A few more head out and I sit and chill, entering my 2nd zero day. Then a random Husky dog appears who is skittish at first but soon calms down. We give her water and she is incredibly thirsty. She is weary of us at first but after a while she comes to sit among us. She rolls onto her back and lets us stroke her belly. Her fur is coming off in clumps.
Bigboyscout heads out to town to buy beer and wine and a trail angel appears while he’s gone who brings more beer and fizzy drinks. His name is Tory and he section hiked the PCT last year and wanted to return the trail magic he was given back then. I ask him if he’ll hitch a few of us to Kennedy Meadows and he kindly agrees. Two others and I pack our bags into his old car which looks like someone's taken a knife to the fabric roof and off we go. We take the huskie with us as this is no place for a huskie. There is an animal shelter in the town so we head there. It’s always crazy how fast we seem to move in cars, covering distances effortlessly in minutes where as walking takes us ages. I casually stroke the dog who is panting in the heat.
We head into town first to drop the dog off. The car has no air con and the breeze flowing in by the windows is hot. The animal shelter scan the dog for a microchip which she doesn’t have and check her in. There are loads of cats in cages all meowing and pawing out through the bars. The dog will stay there for a week and if no one's claims her she will go up for adoption.
We head to Mcdonalds and go inside, the drive thru queue is long so we go inside where it is nice and cool. It’s 31° degrees. I get a large 1/4 burger and get Tory an ice cream. Then the manager comes over with a tray of 4 mango smoothies! Trail magic!
Thank you! Then we begin our drive to Kennedy Meadows which is further than I thought and higher up. It’s a slow drive up the hill to get there. I google Mountain Lions attacks on my phone and we chat to Tory. It’s so warm in the car but I can feel it cooling off as we climb to 5000ft/1500m. My friend tries to pay Tory for the Petrol/gas but he won’t take it, we thank him and he heads off for a run.
Woop so glad I didn’t have to hike this part. I know it is cheating missing the last 50 miles of the desert section but I was so happy to be done with it. We get an applause as we arrive which we wave off feeling guilty since we got a lift here. It’s a large wooden house with a simple general store selling food, gear, package collection, bear canisters, showers. On the deck there is a large sitting area which is covered with hikers, hikertrash, rubbish, hiker gear, food and a chess set. A grill and kitchens sits at the end. I see Puss and we have a catch up and we chill on the deck beside the store. I collect my package I sent from Green valley and I’m so happy to be there.
I pay for shower and head to the two wooden outdoor showers round the back of the store. I get a towel and wash my clothes and myself. It feels good to have a shower. I can’t remember my last wash. Hanging up my clothes I move my bags to a flat patch of dirt near a teepee behind the back of grounds. It is a lot cooler up here and I know I’ll sleep well. A huge fire is starting in an old washing machine drum and e all sit around it chatting until the late hours.