June 13, day 60
Death Cyn Crk to Trail Pass/Lone Pine
Chilly and Pounder got going before me, I made cocoa w carnation instant breakfast and ate organic pop tarts, love those. The day started with a good climb, I felt a bit weary and found myself eating and drinking a lot. Caught two lady thruhikers, Spidey and NoAmp and hiked with them a bit. Crested with a view of the other side- salt or alkali flats? Later on my hitch to Lone Pine, dropping 6,000′ into it got a heck of a view of it all.
Note to self: pack enough coffee or keep the Excederine (which contains caffeine) handy, out of the bear canister.
I kept thinking I’d be at Trail Pass soon, an early afternoon arrival- its just 15 mi, plus the trail to Horseshoe Meadow and hitch… So I didn’t do a lunch break. Bad idea. I needed more substantial food for sure, plus I got a caffeine withdrawal headache. I hit the java hard in the mornings at Tom’s place in KM.
Anyways, hit Trail Pass, left a note for Wired, Top Shelf, and Blister and went down. Snowy but easy to follow, nice trail descent. Then tons of snowmelt runoff. Passed a couple of dayhikers ascending, and an older chatty guy with the biggest pack you’ve ever seen! He told me it would be a tough hitch.
Getting down to the meadow sure was pretty, nice stream and mtn views. To parkinglot w only 3 cars! Motorcycle guy pulls up and checks out the flora/fauna signage so I ask about the road. Randy the biker dude is game for strapping my pack on top of his baggage on the back of the bike and squeezing me in too. Word. Let’s roll!
Good thing I ride, this would not be recommended for many hikers! I find it feels very unbalanced to carry lots of weight on the back of the bike, but this dude’s a touring pro, and the switchback 20 mile, 6,000′ descent was seriously awesome! We took a back road to town that went thru the Alabama Hills, this super cool rock jutting formation where lots of movies get made. Cool! He treated me to dinner: salad, pizza, and (much needed) caffeinated soda at the Pizza joint. Randy is out for a week celebrating a half century of livin’. Out for adventure and sightseeing, right on bro!
I went to the wrong motel, not the hostel but was too pooped to care. Watched a Always Sunny in Philadelphia tv show marathon and slept terribly on the thick pillows and noisy air conditioner. It’s hot as hades down here. Sheesh.