Monday, June 13, 2011


The original plans was, Cathie was going to Oklahoma with her father to visit relatives and I was going to Big Pine to do some hiking.  Before I left and while Cathie was in Oklahoma, she called.  "Daaaannnna, will you please wait till I get home so I can go with you, pleeeeese".  Being the nice guy that I am, I agreed.  So here we are in an RV park just outside of Lone Pine doing day hikes in the high country.

With the massive snow fall this year, most hikes are limited to under 10,000ft, unless of course you want to hike in the snow.  Our first hike was to get acclimated to the elevation, so from Horseshoe Meadows at 10,000ft, we headed out on a pretty level trail.  Taking it easy we hiked about 6 miles entering the Golden Trout Wilderness.  Beautiful country with every stream at capacity.



Cathie hates these things, like I hate hights.  This photo was taken on the way out after she crossed this one the second time and she's still dry.

For our second day we headed up to Onion Valley outside of Independence.  We attempted to reach Robinson Lake at 10,500 ft.  The trail, such as it was, was difficult to follow and according to the local ranger, no longer maintained.  After climbing up a steep slope, we hit snow around 9800 ft.  We hiked for a while in the snow, but decided we weren't properly prepared, so we headed back down.

When we reached the trail head, there was a group of backpackers who we learned were in the process of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican Border all the way to Canada.  They had come down to Onion Valley after 7 days on the trail from Kennedy Meadows, their last re-supply.  They had been hiking the PCT since April 18th and had hiked about 750 miles!  There was about 15 of them from different parts of the country and some from Denmark.  They didn't start out as a group, but met up on the trail and are pretty much hiking together.  They wanted to get to Independence for a re-supply and a little R&R for a couple of days and were looking for a ride.  Well, since we were heading that way, we told them to pile in.  Gunner, one of the hikers, and a badly infected toe, so we gave him a ride to the clinic in Lone Pine.  Asked why he was called Gunner, he told us it was because he was alway at the back of the group going slow.

So if you count them, thats 10.  The truck was packed, and after 7 days on the trail it got pretty ripe on the drive to town.  First stop, Subway for real food.  If you care to read about their hike, here's a link to one of their blogs.

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