June 20th

Independence-Kearsarge Pass(side trail back to PCT)
Today’s Mileage: 6mi
*I just got to my stop at VVR on June 26th…I’m working on getting these posts up ASAP. Internet is sketchy and I’m having to retype the entries, so I hope it comes out okay. I also realized they are LONG cause we stopped early each night. Enjoy!
Today it was great to ease back onto the trail with some low mileage. This stretch can usually be done in 5 or 6 days, but most people have decided to carry 7-8 days worth of food with how slow going it has been in all the snow this year. My bag is HEAVY again! I have apparently adjusted because it didn’t hurt. It was just heavy and I’m moving killer slow uphill. All the food doesn’t even come close to fitting in the bear canister either. We’re all dealing with that problem. I’m definitely making a point to eat the heaviest largest foods first to lighten my pack weight.
Today we (me, Top Shelf, Pine, and Blister) took a 7am, 50min bus ride, back to Independence from Bishop. Speedbump’s ankle is really swollen and purple from when he sprained it glissading down Forester a few days ago and he will leave in a couple days. Independence is a tiny town and it was fun to see all the hikers who had come in over the weekend. It’s fun cause there is always some fun story or surprise and we never know who we will or won’t see. We ate breakfast with a hiker named JR who has hiked the trail the past three years. This year, he is somehow determined to videotape the whole trail. Whoa!
We had a horrible time getting a hitch to the trailhead 15mi away on a Monday morning. There were about 10 of us trying to get to the trail. After a couple of hours of trying to hitch, the trail angel, Uberbitch, ended up dropping by and another hiker named Beacon who had rented a car in town gave us a ride. We didn’t start hiking til 1pm and had about 2000ft to go uphill in the snow back over Kearsarge Pass to get back to the PCT. It is a 7.5mi side trail and it is quite a pain in the snow! With our late start, we did 6mi and are camped on rocks because snow is everywhere and this  is the closest we can get to the next pass for tomorrow morning. We were at camp by 4:30pm and it was great to have a relaxing day to set up Glenn Pass tomorrow. After 50+ days of leapfrogging with Balls and Sunshine, we are finally camped together. We are also with Rainer, Hobbes, and Garby(now No Knees after a Mt. Whitney glissading mishap).
I was excited to set my Tarptent up without staking it into the ground. It is not freestanding and requires being staked down, so I was able to use rocks and it works perfectly. I’m going to sleep great tonight!

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