Mileage 4.7 + 8 Miles to trailhead
Budds Creek (784.1) Kearsarge Pass (788.8)
A couple of granola bars was all I had left, it had to sustain me for the next several hours of hiking up Kearsarge Pass. It was time to hit a trail town and stock up on food. It was shortly after sunrise when I set off. I was alone. Either the others were slow in setting off or I was in a hurry to eat some real food. I passed several tents belonging to still sleeping hikers on route up the climb to Kearsarge Pass. I paid little attention to both the distance and topography on the map which left me exhausted by the time I got to the stunning Bullfrog Lakes. It was only part way up the climb. The further I climbed the more the clouds started to deepen their colour of grey. It was around 9.30am by the time I made it to the top of the pass. I was exhausted. Lack of food was causing me to travel very slowly. The air was cold, I could see snow falling on the nearby mountains.
Again I had little idea of how far I had to walk from the top of the pass. It was a long descent, much more than I thought. The cold air started to fill with light fluffy snow flakes. Then more snow, then yet more. The light fluffy snow turned to heavier round clumps of snow which started to fill the trail. The view up the pass behind me seemed to disappear, the view ahead was little better.
Around 11am I finally exited the trail and to my luck and surprise I met up with Ego, who had just been dropped off at the trailhead. He had a recent illness that took him off trail. The person who dropped him off gave me a lift down the hill to the trail town of Independence. I demolished a Subway Sub, picked up my bounce box from the post office and met another hiker by the name of ‘The Shepherd’. I guess I might need a trail name change, I wouldn’t want to be confused with another hiker! I also caught up with fellow hikers KC and Outland. KC and I decided to hitch hiked to the nearby town of Lone Pine. It was a nicer town, with lots of food options. We watched other hikers wait in vain for long stretches and not get a lift. When KC and I walked to the side of the road to hitch, we waited all of 30 seconds. I seem to have the best luck.