We had a lazy morning as we woke up and decided to head to Grumpy Bear’s for breakfast. We knew it would take a long time since there are about 30 or 40 hikers who all show up at the same time and only one person cooking. They do a good job of getting the food out quickly though and it’s really tasty! We didn’t get back to Kennedy Meadows until about 10 am and we got our stuff all packed up. My pack is pretty much stuffed to the brim with the bear canister in there. My plan right now is to average 15 miles per day to get to Independence. Sas will average around 17 a day and she’ll do the Mt Whitney side trail which is an extra 17 mile hike so we will end up in Independence at the same time. I was so full from the huge breakfast that we hung out on the deck for a while. Somehow Sas had room to eat a burger for lunch before we left. I don’t know how she did it!
Thunder Bunny found me since she knew I was trying to get in touch with my parents and asked if I wanted to try using her calling card. I thanked her and said I’d give it a shot. I was able to get through and when I explained my plan to them they didn’t think it was the best idea. Hiking into a really remote and difficult part of the trail, with an injury, no phone service, and alone. When they put it that way it didn’t sound like a good idea anymore. They suggested I head to Bishop, where I can rest and hike out with Sas when she catches up. I didn’t really like the idea but after I hung up the phone and thought about it, it seemed like the right decision. Even if I was able to hike to Independence and get there at the same time as Sas I would still need to take time off for my ankle to let it heal and I’d lose her anyways. This way I will ideally be good to go by the time she gets here and we can keep hiking together. It means I will miss about 86 amazing miles of trail but if it means I can see the rest of the trail and stick with Sas then I think it’s the right decision.
I’m still young and I have to believe at some point in my life I will be able to come back and hike this section. I am super disappointed to not be hiking out of Kennedy Meadows today but I’m also relieved I don’t have to hike on this ankle anymore. A shuttle driver named Bob was able to take me the 2 1/2 hour ride to Bishop, where I will spend the next week or so hanging out at the hostel. I’m going to go pretty stir crazy sitting around when I feel like I should be hiking but I think it’s the right decision. I’m going to try to get to a chiropractor or general practitioner while I’m here to see if they can give me more information about what’s going on with my ankle and what I can do to help it. Let the resting begin! I also want to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to leave me messages in my guest book. I read every one of them and the kind thoughts and encouragement means a lot to me!