Hooray! I’m here! Not that there is much here, but just finishing the Southern California section is HUGE.
Excited, I was awake and hiking by 5:30am . For the first 15 miles the trail meandered down wooded valleys. At one point I crossed a saddle and rounded a point to see what I had so long anticipated: the snow capped peaks of the High Sierras. Talk about motivation.
Jewel Thief and I were in high gear all morning. The last few miles the trail patrolled the Kern River. Not quite done with me, the desert got one more laugh at my expense as I did the famous “AAAHHH” yell and for several steps back-pedaled at the 4’ rattlesnake in the trail. I’ll be glad not to have to watch for those anymore. By 1:30 pm we made it to the road. As luck would have it, we immediately got a hitch up to the General Store.
The store is literally the only thing here. There were about 3 other hikers lounging around on the giant porch. I plan to take a relaxing day or two off here before setting out North. I’m guessing 10- 15 people are ahead of me at this point. That should leave a few tracks to follow through the snow.