Day off at Kennedy

July 13th

I forgot that getting my parents to camp is guaranteed rain in California. Along with some night rain. We found a poncho from the hiker box to cover my folks’ tent. “It used to have a rain cover,” my dad said. “I don’t know where we last used it.” 

Maybe the last time I got them to camp, up near Mt. Madonna, the small campground beyond the funny Swedish camp. It rained really hard that time. They woke up and immediately packed up and drove back home. Looking back on all those childhood camping trips to Baja, I think my parents slept high and dry in the truck’s campershell. The kids were the ones sleeping in tents.

The general store at Kennedy Meadows must have been packed a month ago. It’s fun to hang out and see what kind of people turn up People with RVs and dirt bikes and Jeeps. There are multiple hiker boxes on the patio, full of abandoned hiker gear. Random shoes and backpacks litter the area, like the hikers got suddenly raptured away. Stories circulated about people handing away brand new bear canisters, unwilling to face the climb into the Sierras.

Mostly everyone sat around eating, waiting for the slow wifi. We played with the dogs, especially the fetcher. She would run up with a pine cone and present it at your feet. Then she cocked her head, irresistibly doggie cute. She would chase that pine cone as many times as a person would throw or kick it, until the inevitable moment it flew over the edge of the patio. Then she would mournfully peer over the edge, as if that were the last pine cone on earth.

I figured out that I wasn’t the only person with foot scar from the rooster at Hiker Heaven. Turns out that little pecker has marked quite a few hikers.

We drove over to the Outfitters near Grumpy Bears. Yogi wasn’t there but Worldwide had lots of stories and advice. I was still a little undecided about how I was supposed to resupply in the mountains. I still don’t really know.

I wanted to replace my cookpot and get a few unnecessary things. Turned out the store computer wouldn’t work. I ended up with just the bear canister and some fuel. 

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