Day 52: mile 709.5 to mile 730.8

6.6.18. 21.3 miles.

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First full day in the Sierra! It totally felt like it too. There were moments where I felt like I was in the yosemite backcountry and it was very blissful. We slept in a tiny bit later than normal, and started hiking at 6 instead of our desert 5:30. The first 7ish miles were pretty easy, and we eventually ended up at the South Fork of the Kern River again and crossed a very nice bridge. We filled up water here and had a snack, for a nice mid-morning break.

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The following climb was absolutely terrible though. I was moving so slow and I could feel the weight of my pack so much on my shoulders and hips. Having the bear can, ice axe, and microspikes, plus 7 days of food on top of everything else is just so heavy! We all met up and ate lunch after the steepest part of the climb. After that, the climb wasn’t too bad. More gradual than before and I was hiking in a prettier forest and had way better views of the mountains! I pulled out my PeakFinder app and was able to identify some of the peaks in the distance! Mount Langley and Kaweah peak were my favorites! It is so cool being able to see the mountains with snow on them! I know I keep saying this, but every day we get closer and it gets more exciting.

 So many awesome trees! 

So many awesome trees! 

We’re trying to keep our mileage up during this part of the Sierra since there’s no snow on the ground and the climbs really aren’t too bad, they’re just at a higher elevation. Once we hit snow, I think we’ll probably slow down a bit.

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It’s so interesting too bc now we’re in a new bubble of people that we haven’t hiked with before! It’s crazy how much of a bottleneck Kennedy Meadows creates. There’s a family on trail of older parents and their daughter who seems around my age and it really warms my heart to see them hiking the PCT together! They’re very nice people and I hope we hike around them more!