Update: May 29, 2014

Hi! Just a quick update to say I have made it to Kennedy Meadows! 702 miles complete… Over 1/4 done. There is very limited internet and I haven’t had any service for a while. But rest assured I will post all my journal entries and photos when I can.

The trail is still beyond words amazing.

Thanks for your support and readership. All the comments and emails have brought me tons of joy. Also huge thanks to Blis for the packages;)

Happy Trails,
Sunbeam

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Day 44: Zero in Isabella

May 25, 2014
0 miles today
652 miles total

We woke up late, nobody moved until 7 am. We then slowly made our way down to the magic tent. There Yogi set us all up with banana pancakes. I added. Bit of peanut butter to mine. They were amazing! After we were fully filled up, we packed up all our stuff.

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We then made our way down to hitch. We always say we are a dream team of hitching… It’s supposed to be a challenge for 5 people to get a ride. But luckily we were able to once again find a ride without even trying. Luckily James was heading to Lake Isabella.

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We piled into his truck and set off on our 30 mile adventure. He dropped us off at the motel. We got there fairly early, so much so the rooms were not ready. We dropped our packs, took all of our dirty laundry out… And set out to get all our chores done.

The walk was long and hot, we dropped our laundry off.. Changed into our rain gear and headed off to Nelda’s Diner. Man, their milkshake list was AMAZING! Exactly what I wanted. I ordered the “Super Weird” full of chocolaty goodness. I also ordered  double bacon cheeseburger. While I really only wanted a single… That is what I said… So I went with it. Man both were really amazing. I highly recommend hitting up Nelda’s Diner when you hit town. It was well worth the walk! Amazing service, food and people.

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After the diner we collected our laundry and went to the grocery store. Finally around 3 we finally made it back to the motel. It was hot, so we went to the pool.

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   We spent the rest of the evening by the pool. We ordered pizza and enjoyed the coolness of the water. It was a good night.

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Day 43: 30 miles to heaven

May 24, 2014
Today 30 miles!
Total 652

Last night was windy, we all got up and got going early. We were on the trail by 6:45. We started up pretty much right away. All I could think of was how long a day it might be.

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We stopped for second breakfast after 6 miles. We took a while to just sit. It was getting hot, but we pushed on. Eventually we made it to the water cache. We were uncertain if there would be water there. But there was plenty, as it was getting hotter I grabbed a few liters of water.

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As we came to a giant climb we all set out on our own paces. I am super slow on the ups, I tried to find a pace that could be sustainable. I took off, rocking out to some Railroad Earth in my headphones. At one point I heard a rattle. I screamed and did a quick run. (I hate snakes.) It was a smallish rattler. After the shock wore off I attempted to take a picture of it. From there I continued to climb.

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I waited until 2 to eat lunch, after the rest in the shade, I was ready to go. As I set off I saw Angles in front of me. As the trail went down my speed increased. I LOVE downhills. I am able to put my legs in like a neutral state and they just go. Downhills make me so happy. So I ended up booking it. When I got to a road crossing I stumbled upon. Slims. After looking at the terrain for the next 9ish miles I got it in my head that I HAD to get to the campground at Walker Pass or… 30miles. Owl, Angles, and Slims and I left a note for Arctic letting him know of our plans. We took off. I was able to fly. I covered the 9 miles in under 3 hours. It felt good.

The best part? As Slims and I reached the campground we heard what sounded like a party. It ended up being a huge hiker trash magic gathering. Many of our hiker friends we haven’t seen in a while were there. Jambo, Spirit Fingers, Emu, Muzzy, Penguin and so many others. It was great!

Yogi, Coppertone, and others handed us a cupcake, and a soda and eventually a burrito. Wow, what a magical way to end the night. The others showed up too, and we all were in shock by our luck. What an amazing day…

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Life is so good!

Day 42: Willow Spring Alternate

May 23, 2014
Miles today 20
total miles 622

Today was another amazing day. We all got up and moving. We pulled out the first 6 miles pretty fast. While Owl, Slims, and Angles got out first we all were able to meet up at Landers Spring. We had run into a few SoBo section hikers who told us to leave trash in the bag at their car. It was a great treat. Also the water source was nice clean and cold. It made for a lovely place to take a second breakfast break.

A bit later Arctic came along with a huge smile in his face. He dropped his pack and showed off his Crush soda. Then he started pulling fresh fruit, cinnamon buns, and yogurt out. We all looked on in shock, where did he plunder such goodies? Turns out he met a woman who just bought some land near the trail and she drove by the previous road as he passed. She hooked him up with all sorts of amazingness, and he in turn shared with us. What a guy!

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After our huge snack break where I am fairly certain I ate more than 1000 calories we pushed on as a group. I haven’t group hiked in a while. It was a lot of fun. We laughed a lot and enjoyed the amazing view. From old growth pine forest to an older burned area with tons of fresh flowers in bloom. It was really magical. This section is by far one of my favorites.

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After a delicious lunch break on a huge rock overlooking the valley below we headed towards Kelso road. There was a small water cache, and a woman by her car. She had a bunch of sodas and was making a small magic cache of her own. We all grabbed some stuff and brought it to its destination. A huge thanks to Writer (section hiker and wife of a 2013er) the soda was just what we needed!

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We hiked on, in search of the alternate trail to the water… The only water for sure for the next 30 miles. We found it and enjoyed figuring out how to get where we needed to go. There were a few tricky spots… (We took to calling them “non sunbeam spots” as earlier in the day a fall nearly sent me on an epic roll down the hill. Don’t worry I am super graceful, anyone who has hiked with me can tell you that.) But we all escaped with nothing worse than a few scratches.

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As we got to the water source we stumbled upon a smallish green rattle snake. Of course it had to escape us by heading towards the water. But after a few photos it let us pass. We filled up water, ate dinner, and headed back to the trail.

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Although we didn’t hike as far as planned, it was a great day. The sunset that ended it all was icing on the cake. Today will go down as one of my favorites… Good people, amazing views, and happy hiking.