Grateful For Dawn

Start: Kearsarge Trail
Stop: Independence
6 miles
700 ft. up, 2500 ft. down

As the first light brightens the sky, I breath a sigh of relief. No humans or bears were harmed in last nights series of events. I get up around 5am and take a gigantic post-adrenaline dump before crawling back to into my sleeping bag. I am camped near the trail tread and I hear a group of hikers quietly go by. I continue my relaxation as the sun slowly creaps down the adjacent peaks. Puppy comes by and tells me I could have chosen a better camping spot. I have only a few miles to go today and my ride won’t come until 12:30pm so I’m in leisure mode.

I loved waking up to this camp. So much beauty at 5am!

I get all packed up and eat too much for breakfast. That makes the 1 mile, 700 ft. climb a slog. The Kearsarge Pinnacles glissen in the sun and a few mosquitoes follow me up the mountain. Kearsarge Pass provides long views to the west and east and just enough of a breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay. I sit atop the pass for nearly an hour making use of the cell service and cool weather.

Looking back at the Kearsarge Pinnacles, Bullfrog Lake and Kearsarge Lakes.

The 5 mile descent flies by as a I chat with Second Breakfast. Second Breakfast is contemplating the end of his thru-hike due to unbearable foot pain. Probably plantar faciatis. The trip takes just less than two hours as we drop into the heat at the Onion Valley trailhead. I wait about an hour for my ride provided by Mt. Williamson Motel where I will be spending the night.

Despite being over 100F in Independence, I head out to find some food. Usually I shower before heading about town but it’s too dang hot for that. I might as well get my errands done and then retreat to my lovely room. I find wood-fired pizza and beer at the Owens Valley Growers Coop and just so I don’t have to make any other trips, I get a sandwich at Subway too.

The quaint and very hiker friendly Mt. Williamson Motel set against the rolling thunderstorms in the high Sierra.

Full on pizza and beer, I finally take a shower. After which I stare at the walls for awhile. Then I stare at the tv for a while. I want to zone out but I have to make a decision about tomorrow’s plans. That place in my gut knows I do not want to head back out. I know it sounds lazy but I just don’t want to work that hard. Plus the mosquitoes are really starting to swarm. Despite the incredible scenery, I can’t seem to talk myself into the return. I bow out of my return trail ride and try to figure out what’s next. I chat with Kitty Boo Boo Soft Paws and my parents but I can’t really formulate a clear idea. I watch a bit more tv before I can no longer keep my eyes open. By 8pm I’m fast asleep, curled up with my Bubby.

It’s the grateful-for-dawn-despite-my-burnt-nose smile in the first rays of the morning.
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