I don’t remember when Father’s Day is for everyone else, but for me it was June 6th. What a treat for a Dad to be invited into the life on one of his sons for a few days.
I arrived at Kennedy Meadows in my funny little american car at midday after an eight-hour drive from San Francisco. The last part up a precipitous mountain road to reach the dry and partially burnt-off expanse of Kennedy Meadows. The old wooden general store has a large shady porch where Craig sat with his strangely named friends.
I met (I think) Dozen, Lucky Joe, Tiki, Speedstick, Old Corpus (for those without a Latin education, that simply means “old body”. Old Corpus is very much alive), Thirsty Boots and several others. Even some of the locals greeted me with “you must be Craig’s Dad”. The population on the store porch is split between locals and hikers. Both tend to have the same sun-and-dirt complexions, but the locals generally have better beards and bigger waistlines. I’m speaking about the male section here. The hikers are probably cleaner here than average for the trail, due to the outdoor shower. A sign in the store offers “Shower $1. Watch $2″.
I brought supplies including oranges, grapes and calorie-loaded chocolate bundt cake. Some hikers gathered hopefully and we said yes, this all had to be eaten before we hit the trail so help yourself. After a lot of repacking Craig and I hoisted our packs into Tom’s truck (ute) for a 3-mile ride to the trailhead. Craig had already covered those miles while waiting for me. We hiked about four miles before dark, gently uphill from the desert scrub of the meadows into low pine forest. Craig took it easy for my first day. We cowboy camped under the pine trees and stars, listening to the yelping of coyotes on the ridge ahead.
This is an interrum report from Walks With Son. SunWalker will send the official report when he gets to a phone at Independence in a day or two. I am waiting to read what he wrote about my slow pace. When I left him on Saturday he was speeding towards Mount Whitney.
In tomorrow’s thrilling episode our intrepid heroes stalk a bear
More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Kennedy Meadows to Crabtree MeadowsDistance today: 0 miles. Total distance: 701.8 miles