Day 71: 6/18/14, Kearsarge Pass

Miles hiked: ~8.5 on the Bullfrog Lake trail over Kearsarge Pass to Onion valley trailhead
Camped at: n/a, at Bishop’s new hostel

Town food is always motivating, and this morning was no exception! Dust Bunny and I got up and out of camp by 5:45am, and were away down the Bullfrog Lake trail towards Kearsarge Pass. I highly recommend taking this trail out – very scenic with all the ponds in the early morning light. I think we had more of a climb and miles than the “high route” but that’s ok. After the pass, the miles seemed long (probably because you can see the road from several miles out tantalizing you) and there was a veritable parade of day hikers and weekenders coming up the trail. Wouldn’t you know it that I absolutely had to go the bathroom?! mayday, mayday! The end of the trail closest to the parking lot is completely exposed too. I almost ran to the outhouse when I finally got to the parking area.

Today was definitely a day for trail magic. Uberb**ch and her husband (who I didn’t meet), 2013ers,
were set up at the Onion Valley Trailhead campground, with drinks and snacks, and offers for rides into Independence. So very appreciated since it can be a long hard hitch from the remote trailhead to town, especially in the middle of the week. Many thanks to Dwayne and Kenny, future JMT-ers this year, who subsequently pulled over for Dust Bunny and I to take us to Bishop from Independence, which is very very small. Definitely the hardest hitch on the trail so far, but it could have been because I was starving! We made it to the new hostel in Bishop, where there was some confusion if I could get a bed or not. After hanging around for a bit, Dust Bunny and I headed to Jack’s restaurant for lunch, where I devoured a salad, burger and fries, and then most of a huge brownie sundae. Hmmm, hiker hunger. Makes me hungry just typing this up after the fact!

My first shower in 10 days felt amazing – though I didn’t even feel that dirty, and waited until 5pm when I learned I would have a bed at the hostel. Hmm. The trappings of civilization are falling fast! I went to dinner with Dust Bunny, Pockets (who made it to town a little after us), and Tink, who I met heading up to Guitar Lake on Saturday. Tink is recovering from some injuries so I hope she gets better very very soon – I know how frustrating it is to watch everyone else go out and hike when you yourself can’t. We had a great time at the local bowling alley of all places, downing an AYCE spaghetti dinner and great conversation. Though I pity our neighbors with some of the candid topics that came up!

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