June 11th

Today has been a nice low-key day. I got to wake up at my leisure and Tom(who lives here at KM) made everyone pancakes. There were about 10 hikers heading out today and those of us zeroing got to watch them weigh their packs before they left. It is quite an entertaining and educational experience to see how everyone packs the new equipment for the Sierras. Just about everyone has added a bear canister, ice axe, and crampons. Most who left today are going to go straight through the next 7-8 days to Independence like we plan to do. Most packs were weighing in between 35-45lbs. Here is a picture of Wandering Dot weighing her pack. She as decided to leave today and stop at Lone Pine, so we may see her on and off along the way.

I spent the morning organizing, buying food, and figuring out how to fit the food into my bear canister. There are generally two types of bear canisters. Here is a picture of me with Pine who has the BearVault. I have the Bearikade.

The sun has been pretty strong, so I wasn’t able to retreat to my tent like I normally would and I sat in the shade and hammocks with the other hikers. It was fun to watch everyone prepare to leave and also see all the others come in today. I got to meet Bert and Ernie who I’ve been just behind this whole way. They are two great guys from Wisconsin raising money for AmeriKids, which helps children living and affected by HIV/AIDS. I’ll also put a plug in for Stumbling Goat and Thumper who I’ve been leapfrogging with and are hiking for Multiple Sclerosis. Other than hanging out today, it was frustrating to zero and not be able to watch my Hulu shows, but it was nice to relax. I was kinda bored and I’m ready to get going tomorrow.

One of the hikers who made it in this morning was Safari. He is from New Zealand and has a lot of backpacking and mountaineering experience. We overlapped with him for a bit when we went out at Lake Isabella earlier this week and he is thinking he will join us for this first leg into the Sierras. He is a very independent hiker and generally prefers to hike and camp solo, but he gets along well with us and knows you need to be in groups for this next section. So far, also leaving tomorrow and hiking near us will be Speed Bump(Jr), Pine, Free Range Amelia, and Balls and Sunshine.

I don’t know what kind of reception I’ll get over the next 8 days, but I’ll get the journals up when I can. My SPOT is up and working again, so you can see my movement on the Where’s Erin tab above. Apparently, my previous tracks have been cleared on the map and you may need to zoom out to view it properly. I’ll try to fix that when I get to a town with a better internet connection.

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