This past week Bowie and I made our way up to Kennedy Meadows. For those of you aren’t already aware, this is a huge milestone for PCT hikers. Most hikers consider Kennedy the finish line for the desert-portion of the hike and the starting line for the Sierras. This also is where a lot of hikers pick up the extra weight of the dreaded bear canister. Luckily for a few hikers (Darwin, Bean-Dip, and Moonshine), their bear canisters have been keeping me company along with some goodies for other hikers.
Darwin and I had visited Kennedy Meadows previously during the off-season so I was excited to see the hiker activity this time around. This time around, a majority of my time was spent at Grumpy Bear’s Retreat. What had previously looked like a long forgotten building in the off-season, was now brimming with hikers. Various colored tents were scattered around the in the front of the building and hikers were milling about everywhere. I was delighted as was Bowie at the sight of such hiker trash.
After locating one particular piece of bearded trash, we took off towards the infamous Kennedy Meadows General Store with a load of hikers in tow. In true hiker shuttle style, we dropped off a few hikers at the store only to gain more needing a hitch to the trail. Not even thirty minutes into my arrival at Kennedy and I was already shuttling; a price of owning a van and living alongside a long distance trail I was am very glad to pay.
Making another stop at the general store, we were swarmed with hikers needing a ride to Grumpy’s. An extremely hiker friendly place that provides showers and laundry, bar style food, friendly staff and free camping, Grumpy’s seems to have quickly become a hiker go-to in this remote area. Once at Grumpy’s food was ingested and beer was drunk all the while enjoying the DJ outside around a fire-pit. Bowie received an overwhelming amount of loving and I enjoyed an overwhelming amount of hiker conversation. I felt welcomed and very much at home among such dirty individuals.
The next morning the trail was calling, and I took two rounds of hikers back to the trail including Darwin. This was of course only after a pancake breakfast at Grumpy’s, two cups of coffee and listening as lots of hikers tried to motivate themselves and each other to move on. With all the hiker love at Grumpy’s, I can see the potential to wanna stay just a little longer….
A couple more shuttles into the morning, Bowie and I returned to Grumpy’s. To be honest from there, I’m not sure exactly what happened to the day. It was full of hiker talk, food, and the entertainment of observing my friends trying to stuff their bear canisters full of food. Before I knew it, the Sun had once again set on this hiker paradise.
In the morning the sun will rise, hikers will hike out and new ones will arrive allowing this cycle to repeat for the rest of the season.
(You Can’t Miss Grumpy’s; Hikers Heading Out; The Front of Grumpy’s Property)
Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts & Other Stuffs:
Learn more about Grumpy Bear’s restaurant and retreat here!
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