We awoke for the third straight morning in our beds in the hotel we stayed at in Ridgecrest. Despite not sleeping particularly much due to Buster (Marissa and my dog) decided it was his job to bark at any noise he heard pretty much all night. Great guard dog, but bad for sleeping soundly when you have to get up and be ready to hike at least the 11 miles we set as our day back goal. After waking up (for the final time) this morning and grabbing a shower that would be futile in a few hours we headed over to the breakfast provided by the hotel. I had some biscuits and gravy which was pretty solid for a hotel provided meal. Then we packed up the car and headed over to the Stater Brothers to grab a deli sandwich to serve as our parting prize and a last non-trail meal for lunch today. After this final errand it was time to head back into the mountains. We took the roughly hour long drive back up to Kennedy Meadows and finally around back at the trail a touch after 10am.
After snapping some final pics with our loved ones and making sure our packs were good and heavy (don’t worry, they are) we were back on the trail just after 10:30am. We made pretty good time on our first few miles and decided that maybe we could go a bit further than 11 miles. We sat down right at noon to eat our sandwiches and agreed that mile 716 instead of mile 713 was an achievable and more suitable camp goal and also had a good water source as it was near the south fork of the Kern River.
We arrived at our new camp goal at 5:45pm and the temperature was already dropping quickly. We had heard a report there was snow in the forecast for this area tonight and the clouds above look as though that could be a possibility, only time will tell but it feels cold enough to happen. Tomorrow we may have to have a fairly big day of mileage to set ourselves up to reach Crabtree Meadows at the end of Tuesday which would be the ideal scenario for our Mt. Whitney climb on Wednesday. With that said it’s off to my bag for warmth and to catch up on the sleep Buster deprived me of last night.