Ridgecrest and Walker Pass to Spanish Needle Creek – 16 miles (25km) – 668 miles total
I spent the day off in Ridgecrest and had a truly relaxing day. I had got my laundry done the night before when I got into town and updated most of the blog. All I had to do was upload it. I also needed to resupply. I woke up at 5am and discovered that Walmart opened at 6am, so at about 6.30am I started the 1 mile walk to Walmart to resupply. By around 8.30am I was back in the hotel with my resupply and could relax for the entire rest of the day, it was glorious. I watched TV, downloaded podcasts, ordered new shoes, read, looked into getting off trail once I got to Kennedy Meadows. (I’d really like to visit Vegas and the Grand Canyon), I watched more TV and ate way too much. It was a great day.
Day 45 – I sorted my gear and packed it all back up to hit the trail again. I got a Lyft back to the trail head at Walker Pass and started the climb up. The trail started with a 2000ft gain, before dropping back down and then a shorter climb up and down. I took my time as I only had 16 miles to do. I could have pushed further, but that would have resulted in having to dry camp which I don’t like to do. So I chose the shorter 16 mile option. By mid morning we could see clouds forming in the distance and knew that another thunderstorm would come in. By mid afternoon thunder could be heard in the distance. Then a bit later the heavens opened and it bucketed down with rain and hail for a good 20 minutes before easing. I chose to sit in the vague shelter of a bush with my umbrella up while the worst of it passed and I remained reasonably dry. Others were not so lucky arriving at camp saturated.
It was an early stop for the day at 4.30pm but I was good with relaxing for the rest of the evening as I am planning to get up early tomorrow to beat some of the heat and potentially do a 25 mile day, but we will see.
Today I am thankful for shorter hiking days.