Jacob Leistra / "Game Boy" / PCT 2019

Day 43: Into Kennedy Meadows

Mile 681.1 - Mile 702.1

I wrote yesterday’s entry at around 6 PM. Shortly after finishing, a guy driving a truck parked on the road beside Chimney Creek Campground. He walked up to us, introduced himself as the owner of a nearby cabin. He asked if we needed anything and Toucan semi-jokingly responded with “beer.” About an hour later he was back with a couple dozen beers and a fifth of vodka.

His name was Adam Keefe, a former NBA player for the Utah Jazz. Apparently he was on the ‘94 team that lost to Michael Jordan’s Bulls. We spent a couple hours chatting and drinking with him. Considering we were getting into Kennedy Meadows the next day (the 21st, the day of this post), we wanted to get to sleep early. That didn’t happen. I rolled into my quilt at about 9:30 PM, and it took a bit for me to fall asleep.

We got up around 5:45 AM–late for us–and were on the trail shortly after 6. We all got a bit of condensation on our gear, so we would need to take a break to dry stuff once the sun was up and attacking us. We took a break at a creek and campsite to dry our stuff, but I was antsy and quickly got going to finish out the day and get into Kennedy Meadows.

Today we passed the 700 mile mark and came across our first real river, the South Fork Kern River. It’s a glorious thing to see after dealing with dry stretches and heavy water carries.

After taking our photo in front of the Kennedy Meadows sign, we headed to the general store and received the customary applause from the groups drinking on the deck.

We have two days of relaxation and Sierra planning ahead of us.

Main Photo: The gang rolling into Kennedy Meadows on June 21.