Day 69 – It did indeed seem providential that we were headed off the trail as it began to snow harder and harder as the morning progressed. We passed pines dressed in snow all ready for Christmas at Bull Frog Lakes, then up and over Kearsage Pass as snow fell furiously from the dark sky. On the way down we saw Vincet, Indi & Burning Daylight (BD) headed back into the mountains… in shorts no less! I was glad I was headed OUT not IN.
Once down at Onion Valley Trailhead and 13 miles from civilization we had a tea part in the toilet while hoping to catch a ride with some of the campers fleeing the snow. But as car campers they were decidedly not lightweight and had full cars. In the end we had to pay a ridiculous price to get a shuttle, but at least that way we were able to go into Independence to pick up packages & then to Lone Pine where were stayed at the Dow Villa.
Lone Pine & environs is where many old Western Films were shot. It even has a saloon with swinging doors! The next day (Day 70) was gorgeous and we lounged about by the pool & hot tub in between doing all the boring logistical things town stops require. We were also surprised to run into Vincent, Indi & BD again… they’d faced a white out in Glen Pass and decided to come back to town till the weather improved.
With the solid deep blue sky above us it was hard to believe the weather would be bad tomorrow so we arranged to get back on the trail on Day 71. Everyone said it was freakishly bad weather for June. But after a massive breakfast at the Alabama Hills Cafe the High Sierras weren’t even visible due to ominous dark clouds. And after talking to my mom who said there was a Severe Weather Alert for the area, we decided it’d be best to stay in Lone Pine one more day.
We made the most of our second Zero day…. scrambling around Alabama rocks and then drinking cocktails in the hot tub. It’s a hard life being a thru-hiker!