Bubbs creek (mile 784) to Lone Pine via Kearsage Pass, 12 miles
Cost: Dow Villa Motel, $32 per night
I woke up at 5am and everyone was asleep so I went back to sleep and had the best sleep ever from 5 to 6am! At 6am, everyone was up and I was the second last to leave. The motivation for everyone to get up and going today was the promise of real food in Lone Pine – hopefully in time for lunch and dinner.
I left around 7am and couldn’t get into my rhythm because the views were just so stunning. I stopped constantly to take photos.
After 4.5 miles I left the PCT and joined the Bullfrog Lake Trail which would take me up and over Kearsage Pass and down to the Onion Valley trailhead where we would all try to hitch into Lone Pine. The views up to and over this pass were incredible.
Once over Kearsage Pass I bumped into Nips, Physio & Cashmere and the Tits (all coming back up the trail) and stopped to chat with everyone. It had been snowing on me for the last 7 miles with some pretty dark clouds forming overhead so I was glad to be getting off the mountain and surprised to see so many people getting back on it. The forecast was apparently quite mixed with some reports saying a slight chance of snow and some saying a slight chance of rain. I got phone service on the way down to the Onion Valley trailhead and checked my emails as I walked. When I arrived at the carpark there were about 10 hikers including my group all trying to figure out how to hitch the 30 or so miles into Lone Pine – they’d been at the carpark for more than an hour. There was no phone service at the carpark so I started to walk down the road to see if I could get a signal to call one of the hotels that we thought offered rides… No luck, I should have just walked back up the hill! Bearly came down after me and had met some JMT hikers who had offered him a lift. I squeezed into the car he was getting a ride with and Mr & Mrs Smith and Teflon got a ride with Wild Pony’s family. (Shepherd had hiked in earlier and already got a lift).
I needed to pick up my resupply box from Independence but I didn’t want to be an inconvenience (considering I was already squashing someone in the back seat) so Barely and I got out at Lone Pine (thank you for our hitch!) and I decided I’ll head to Independence tomorrow and pick up my box.
I wasn’t going to take a zero here considering I was just here last weekend with Howard but I want to stick with this awesome group as we all have similar paces and similar resupply strategies for the Sierras so I’m taking a zero and will use it as a chance to rest my sore right knee (which has never been sore before).
We all checked into the Dow Villa Motel, hit the pizza place opposite for lunch, washed sleeping bags, down jackets, and clothes, went shopping at the supermarket, went out for dinner at the Grill next to the motel, then all watched Top Gun on the big TV in the girl’s room thanks to Shepherd and his laptop. It was way past hiker midnight when we went to sleep – it was ‘normal person’ midnight!