Photo 1: gazing down into the Kern River valley.
Photo 2: Forests along the trail as I walked northerly towsrds camp. When not in a forest you were on open hot ground. Always within earshot of the river though often well above the rushing waters.
Ker Hot Springs Video
8 miles of level and gently ascending terrain must be trod to reach the bear lockers at Big Junction Campsite. It is deceptively easy walking because often you have no shade from trees against the sun. But you do have many, likely not year round as they're not on the map, streams to give you relief. I'm told they can all be forded without getting your feet wet. Hah. The first one, just minutes out of the hot springs, was above my knee deep and I saw no obvious safe dry ford.
When I walked by a cateract I thought Andy meant for us to have lunch I dissmissed it since it was in hot sun and lacked water access. I kept going. Working my way north listening to the watervon my left and wading through streams. Lunch at a bug stream whose name I'll determine sometime later. Where are Andy and Kobrad? I'll leave a note. At least then they'll know what is up.
On I went as clouds built up to the north and west. I thought I felt a drop of water on my arm but ignored it. Another cool dropon my arm, surely that cNt be sweat. Another minute went by and the quiet afterrnoon continued with another cool droplet. A sun shower barely worth the term was raking place. I was provably within 1.5 miles of camp. My final creek crossing of the wide shallow creek (Whitney perhaps) took longer than it should have as I pondered where the trail was. I forged across and found the trail where it should be and moments later I found Matt and Adam (he was napping in their tent). A half hour or so later a slightly irked Andy with Konrad came in. He was miffed cause he hadn't found me at the lunch spot he thought we should be at. He had said first water crossing I had heard first waterfall. Miscommunication. He never saw my note (the group we had been following, or were they following us, did find the note). Then the hail and rain came down. Sounded line frying bacon on my shelter whereby honkered down to keep dry.
The evening campfire was small but kept dome of the bugs at bay as we talked about the day. Cheered the fat with a hiker travelling in tshirts and jeans, and learned how Jack's repaired outersole-less shoes were faring. Aong day but a saticefying one.
** Ken **
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