Day 92 Kennedy Meadows to Sage Flats TH

Leaving camp

Today we left Kennedy Meadows firmly convinced we were about to enter the Sierras, and we did, though we have yet to see the crags and lakes that we expected.  We did pass the sign that said we were entering the South Sierra Wilderness and we did climb to 9000+ feet but mostly we saw beautiful valleys with tall grass, flowing water and black cows.  I also saw what must be a cowhand’s summer residence, with two or three pickups parked nearby in what my maps show to be the middle of the wilderness, great job if you can get it.

Morning trail
Entering the Wilderness
Wilderness Trail
Today is about textures, from the handrailings on my second crossing of the S Fork Kern River
to ancient pine trees
This is the meadow with the cabin and pickups
and once again the S Fork Kern River, after I crossed it earlier the river made a big swing around to the east and cut my track several miles later.
maybe my last crossing of the S Fork of the Kern River

Leaving the PCT I took the trail over Olanche Pass and down to Sage Flats, passing a small wildfire on the way.  There are three trucks from the Arroyo Grande Hotshots here at the trailhead.  They said if the wind changes and starts blowing our way we may have to evacuate.  For a while it seemed the wind had changed, we can smell smoke now, however it seems to have died down, at least for now.

An old corral fence by Summit Meadow on the Olanche Pass trail.
These meadows and the following picture of the deer were all taken at over 9000 feet elevation.

Olanche Pass
The trail drops 3000 feet in the last 3 miles or so
What I saw of the fire.

Trip data:  mileposts; 0704-0720, miles ridden; 23.3, trail time; 7:43, average speed; 3.0, minimum elevation; 5849, maximum elevation; 9224, total ascent; 4450, total descent; 4685

Total miles: PCT; 2194, Ridden; 2300

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