We made it back to the trail!!! Woohoo. It's so, so tough getting back to the trail after a couple of relaxing days off. It also doesn't help when we run into another hiker while waiting for the bus who tries to get us to go to the museum or to dip our feet into the river. Thanks Yuke. :D
The bus eventually came and sped us off to Lake Isabella. We decided that it would be easier to hitch out of Lake Isabella instead of Onyx, even though Onyx is closer to the trailhead. Onyx is a wide-spot in the road while Lake Isabella has a bit more traffic running through it.
We waited on the hwy 178 on ramp, Mandie had her thumb out and I was holding the 'Hiker To Trail' sign that is printed on our class bandana. It only took about ten minutes before a nice lady, on her way home from kayaking Lake Isabella, stopped and picked us up. She was nice enough to drive us all the way to the Walker Pass trailhead which was past her original destination.
Once at the CG we walked over to the 'Walker Pass Ruck' Trail Angel oasis to see who was there. There were only a few hikers there, none of which we knew, but there was a hiking celebrity there. Her name is Yogi and she writes and publishes the PCT Guidebook aka Bible. She is also a highly accomplished triple-crown hiker having logged something like 16,000 hiking miles, or some insane amount like that. We got to meet her, which was very cool.
It wasn't too hot out so we decided not to stay at the ruck and just hit the trail. We weren't sure how many miles we were going to do today we just knew that we needed to get going otherwise we would get stuck there. The vortex and all.
From the ruck, it was about a mile walk until we crossed hwy 178 at which time we started to climb and we continued to climb the rest of the day. The other 7 miles of the day would take us just below the top of Mt. Jenkins at 7921 feet.
Our legs felt really good today as we hiked up the mountain. Although our heads were still in a fog from being in town but that will burn off soon. I have been having some pain in my left foot for the last week or so, which I was hoping would go away while we rested in town. It hasn't. I think it has to do with the Sesamoid bones or the ligament that those bones interact with. The pain I am experiencing runs from the base of the big toe thru the ball of my foot. To hopefully fix the issue, I have added a little padding to the bottom of my insole to offset the pressure. I am also trying to stretch the area out but nothing has been successful yet. Maybe when we get into the cold water and snow of the Sierra it will go away. If anybody knows of a solution please let me know.
We are camping at the crest of Mt. Jenkins where it is a bit windy and cold. If we went any further we would have either had to camp on the side of the mountain or go all the way down to the spring at the base of the mountain, where we have heard rumors that a bear likes to visit. So, we are camping a few miles away from bear spring and are just going to pass through tomorrow.
42 more miles until we are in the Sierra!