A day of preparing for the Sierra’s.
I had 3 boxes to pick up from Grumpy Bear’s Retreat. Sounds like a nice place right. That’s what I though but maybe my expectations are romanised or set too high. Grumpy Bears is a run down tavern in need of some love but they do a lot for hikers. They accept resupply boxes with zero pick up fee, allow free camping and free laundry for those staying; and a $3 shower. Beggars can’t be choosers and I chose to stay here last night. Plus it’s right next door to the outfitters and they offer a massive breakfast.
The boxes I need to collect included a food resupply, more substantial layers for the mountains and an ice axe sent by Vicky and Peter (with some extra treats!).
I also had to collect a bear canister for the outfitters. From Lone Pine onwards to South Lake Tahoe it is mandatory to store and carry all food in a bear can. Basically a canister that bears can not penetrate. Better for them and us. But it’s heavy, adding an extra kilo and a bit. The upside is that entering the Sierras there is lots of water and hikers don’t need to carry so much. So I’m viewing the bear canister thing as essentially swapping a full water bottle for a different container. It takes up some space though and my challenge now is to get everything into the same backpack.
Triple Crown Outfitters is owned and run by two triple crown*hikers Yogi and Worldwide. The shop is run from there home and carries only quality gear suited to thru hikes. They know gear. Tempting to spend up and then I’d have to carry stuff and I wasn’t going to do that.
* Triple Crown = completed the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails.
I’ve swapped out my tent for the Sierras as well. Through the desert I’ve been using a tarp or cowboy camping but needed something with better bug protection and able to cope with more severe weather. I’ll swap back to the tarp for Northern California and back to the tent for Oregon and Washington.
There are regular and free rides between Grumpy Bears, which is about 4 miles out of town, to the General Store.
After my clean clothes have finished drying in the sun and my electronics recharged I’ll head over to the general store to camp the night and save a four mile road walk tomorrow morning.
It is going to be a heavy haul for the next few days and a slower pace through the mountains.
Breakfast here was massive and very busy. With the best deal around the place was packed with hikers.
PM update: Kennedy Meadows was nuts and I decided to get the hell out of there, hiking just 2 miles north at a camp ground for the night.