The gateway to the Sierra Mountains!
I arrived to the legendary Kennedy Meadows early on the morning of the 18th to a standing ovation - one of the coolest moments I've had on trail so far! It's an amazing tradition which I wasn't awear of until Evac told me about it a couple weeks before we got to Kennedy. As it goes, Kennedy Meadows is a pretty small place, population 200 (I think they accidently added an extra zero), but for thru-hikers it's mainly just about the General Store and the porch out front is the place to be. (Go re-watch Wild, the KM General Store makes an appearance). Anyway, the tradition goes that every time a thru-hiker makes it to the G.S. everyone around stops what they're doing to give the new arrival a welcome and deserved round of applause.
The night before, Wolf and I camped a few miles outside of KM and I was so excited about getting there, I hardly got any sleep. At first light I packed up and headed onward and to sweeten the deal, my next food challenge package was waiting for me too. Wolf decided to sleep in a bit since we'd all agreed to take a nero that day and didn't have many miles to do. Meanwhile, Sprinkles, Home grown and Pineapple we're already waiting at Kennedy after getting ahead a day when some of us zeroed in Kernville (another really sweet trail town known for their white water rafting). And Evac, Yoda, Zuel and U-Turn were hot on our heels coming into KM the same day.
Not only was the arrival applase amazing, it was a complete reunion of the Wolf Pack which is always cause for massive celebration! I'm so glad to be hiking with such an amazing crew!
After tearing up from the warm welcome, my first mission was to devour the contents of the food challenge box, cardboard possibly included :) But what was inside this one?!?!? Only one way to find out!!
The box was more than i could have ever hoped for! Homemade treats are just the thing thru-hikers crave after eating so much "just add water" food and on top of that, Stephie Poos Energy Balls (she named them, not me), were downright phenomenal!!! They contained all the delicious goodness (chocolate, peanut butter, oats, coconut oil!!!) that's hard to get out on the trail and we're vacuum sealed so I could enjoy all of them at my leisure, (over the course of an hour :) I'm definitly going to have to get the recipe from you for the future!
And the other items were icing on the cake after a though 700 miles trudging through the desert. So many thoughtful things; chapstick, hair ties, emergen-c, endurance gel, just to name a few. All things a thru-hiker wants and craves :) Thank you so much for all of it; the package and the letter - quite the pick me up and at just the right time. Can't wait to thank you in person next time I'm in Chicago!
Still heading north,