Mile 1017 to 1017 (zero)
The rain stopped during the night, then started up again in the morning. We yell to each other from our tents, “What are we doing?” We have a quick breakfast and pack up. We are either hiking up the massive Sonora Pass snow climb in the rain, or we are hitching back to Kennedy Meadow North.
When voting on whether or not it is safe to proceed, it is not simply majority rules. If it were, we would be hiking. Klutz is very uncomfortable heading directly into a storm. She is miserable when cold and wet, and the chances of being able to dry out are slim to none. We go to the highway to hitch back down. Dish Cloth and Loren arrive. They just hitched up to join us, but are quite happy to hitch back down. The forecast for today is 80% rain, which seems silly since it is 100% raining. Tomorrow’s forecast is only 20% chance and even less the following day. We split into two groups to hitch back.
Back at Kennedy Meadows we relax on the porch, stare at the rain and toast Klutz’s better judgment. I load up on calories, ordering the cowboy breakfast and later a chili burger and fries. We rent a tiny cabin and cram in 6 hikers. It makes the cost reasonable, but tent and sleeping bag drying space is at a premium. Everyone here, including the workers, is tired of the rain. We can only imagine how wet, sloppy and miserable the snow climb/crawl/swim will be tomorrow.
This next stretch has extremely limited (meaning nonexistent) cell or wireless service. Any updates to this blog will be significantly delayed. The current plan is to get to Tuolumne Meadows, pick up a shipped resupply box and push on to Mammoth Lakes. Based on our food, we need to be making about 20 miles a day. Weather will be the most critical determining factor.