Jackrabbit Hikes: PCT Day 53-54

Day 53: Kearsarge Lake (mi 788.5) -> Bishop, CA

Yesterday was tiring but we ended up at a fantastic site near Kearsarge Lake. We set out with our lightest packs in days as our bear canisters were nearly void of food.
One last mountain pass. I find it hilarious that to even exit the mountains you have to take a mountain pass to a parking lot. Conversely, that’s the price of entry for day hikers. Climb Kearsarge Pass and you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic view of King’s Canyon.

After we finally crested over the pass we quickly scrambled to the parking lot. We were anxious about getting a hitch. Bishop is 62 miles from the trailhead, over an hour ride. However, it was Sunday and the parking lot was full with weekend warriors. We pulled out our bear cans to sit on and began our wait.

Not 10 minutes had gone by when we saw our best chance of getting down. A Prius pulled up and dropped off 3 other hikers just a few feet from us.

We tried not to rush the car like piranhas but we definitely weren’t letting him leave without asking. Before we could ask him for a ride he yelled out to us.

“You guys need a ride to Bishop? I can fit 3 but 4 is a squeeze”

“We don’t mind a squeeze if you don’t.”

“Hop in.”

Coconuts. A PCT hiker from 2014. The trail provides.

We shared great conversation on the way to Bishop as Coconuts asked us about our hike. We were headed to The Hostel California. One of the stops I’ve been most excited about.

6 nights and 7 days in the Sierra mountains. What an amazing first section. Time to rest up and go see what else is in those frosty valleys.

Day 54 – Zero in Bishop

Finding motivation to write in town is the hardest. I’m always surrounded by friends and prioritizing doing nothing, including not writing. But Bishop was an amazing stay. The Hostel California is probably the coolest PCT hostel I’ve been to. The hiker vibe there was just so money.

Squalo, Quest, Zoey, Spilly Billy and I decided that we had enough rest halfway through our zero. We decided to walk across the street to the climbing gym. We took on all the easiest routes and worked our way up. It was a blast. Just like out on the trail, we all cheered each other on as we tried harder and harder routes. We climbed ourselves into exhaustion and decided we’d try and get a few more reps after dinner.

When we got back to THC, Uncle Bob was finishing up a big group dinner she prepared for everyone. She’s the bestest. We all gathered around the long wooden dining table and filled our plates. A huge variety of baked veggies partnered with some orzo and fresh greens. It was exactly the nutrition I needed considering I eat pretty much absolutely nothing fresh on trail.

With full bellies, the climbing squad went and took on a few more routes back at the climbing gym. Our forearms were so shot from the first session we only took on the easy stuff. It mostly consisted of 4 of us starfished on the climbing mats cheering on the one person who had enough energy to go again.

The climbing gym closed shortly after the sunset so we made our way back to THC once more under the streetlights. A few of us cozied up in the living room and fired up the ole’ CRT tv. We watched a VHS copy of Signs, a movie that scared the shit out of me as a kid.

Something about watching a VHS movie on trail. Feels so right. Bishop hit all the right spots.

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