Manter Creek to Kennedy Meadows – 9 miles (15km) – 702 miles total
With only 9 trail miles to do today (plus an extra 1 mile off trail to get into Kennedy Meadows) I was in no rush. I took my time having breakfast and waited until the sun hit my tent to pack up. It made packing up lovely, but I did slightly regret the decision a bit later as it started to get really warm.
It was a day of rolling ups and downs into Kennedy Meadows, with no real climbs or descents. Lovely really. It was around lunchtime by the time I made it to Kennedy Meadows, which is just a bunch of houses and a General Store.
Kennedy Meadows is known as the end of the desert section and the gateway to the Sierras. So it was great to arrive and achieve that milestone.
The General Store allows camping and provides an outdoor shower and laundry. Over the next few days I am going to work out what to do next. If I enter the Sierra I need to get more gear. It is a high snow year, but people are now starting to do the Sierras and getting through. However, I am aware that I feel the cold more than the average person and wonder if even with more gear, if I will still be miserable and not enjoy what is one of the most beautiful sections of the trail. However, if I flip there is still snow up north and it might mean that by the time I make it back to the Sierras that snow melt will have made river crossings more challenging. It is a mixed bag. Some people are going in, others are flipping… It is what I will work out in the following days.
Today I am thankful for finishing the first section of the PCT.