On Thursday Zac left camp on his own. He got into his first big mosquito swarm while hiking along Cow Creek. The bugs were thick and the hike was uphill and very strenuous. If you stopped to rest for more than 30 seconds, the mosquitoes would be all over you. Once he got past that obstacle he could enjoy some very beautiful scenery in the higher elevations. He caught up with four other hikers he knew later that day. He spent the rest of the day hiking with Little Engine, Half Slice, Sunseeker, and Slim. At 10,000 feet they had to cross some snow fields. At the highest point of the day, 10,700 feet, they could look down on the town of Lone Pine.
During the hike, they encountered at least three cinnamon brown bears. That night one came within a stone's throw to their camp. Everyone hung their food up in the trees but Zac buried his in the ground inside a bear canister. A few nights earlier one of the hikers in the group had his tent ripped up by a bear. Zac decided to cowboy camp so he could be more aware of what was around him during the night. Morning came with no bear drama during the night.
Zac got an early start Friday morning in hopes of getting to Lone Pine with enough time to get everything done he needed to do. He hiked to a nearby public campground hoping to hitch a ride into town which was some 22 miles away. Finally after waiting for an hour without seeing a soul, a pickup truck came by and offered him a ride. In the cab was Half Slice and Little Engine and in the back bed were the three Israeli Gears and Zorro. They had all caught the same ride into town.
In the town of Lone Pine, Zac got some things done. He went to the P.O. and bought stamps to mail some postcards. He bought a new compass, spoon, socks,and a piece of sheet metal to use a a wind shield for when he cooks on his stove. He also went by the library to check his E mail. He had phone service so he made a few phone calls to Alex Parker, Bill Ellison, and Corey at Lake Hotel. Alex is well in Boise, Idaho. Bill is enjoying some fishing in Florida, and Corey is cooking up some good food in Yellowstone.
Tonight he is sharing a room with a few hikers at a hostile. After a well deserved and no doubt needed shower, they went to the all you eat Chinese buffet. What a sight that must have been. I hope they sat at the tables and not at the buffet line this time. I'm sure they were stuffed when they left. After dinner, they got together and went over maps and plans for the next few days. They were going to be in remote wilderness for the next 8 to 9 days and preperation was important.
On Saturday he plans to hike 8 miles to Chicken Spring Lake, 11,200 feet. Camp there for the night and then hike to Crabtree Meadows, 10,300 feet, the next day. Then on Monday he plans to hike up Mt Whitney, 14,400 feet, the highest point on the continental United States. This will be a return trip for Zac. He hiked it a few years back. I should be getting some new videos soon and will post them as soon as I can.
Update: While in Kennedy Meadows, Zac was helping the owner of the general store sort and stack boxes that were mailed there for the PCT hikers to pick up when they came through. Zac mentioned how much he liked a certain hat that was hanging up in the store. He asked her how much she wanted for it. She said," Brush the dust off of it and it is yours." He said he really liked that hat. "It is different," he said. As soon as I get pictures of it I will definitely post. I can only imagine what it must look like.