Day 56: Kearsarge Pass for bakery

Sun. 6/16/13
0 PCT miles +8 miles on Bullfrog Lake Trail via Kearsarge Pass (currently at PCT mile 788.5)
Bullfrog Lake Trail – Onion Valley TH

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Another great pass with more great views

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there! ♡

We had quite a few mosquitoes last night, but they were manageable. Thankfully there weren’t any when we got up this morning, so we were able to have coffee and breakfast in peace.

It was chilly starting out again – I’m going to get used to this, really I will! I’m kind of a wimp to cold. I’d rather be too warm. But gloves and hiking get me nice and warm, so as long as I have trail to hike, cold will be okay.

We were camped right on the junction where we leave the PCT for an 8-mile side trail over Kearsarge Pass to the Onion Valley Trailhead and campground. Aloha was meeting us there to bring us to town. We were very thankful to have him again, because other hikers were saying it took over an hour to hitch a ride, and the ride into town was kind of a long one.

The side trail we took went past some amazing lakes. Bullfrog lake was still and reflected the mountains in its glassy surface. It was a true mountain scene, just like you might see on a postcard. We looked way down on the dark teal Big Pothole lake and a couple of other small ones. Then we came to Gilbert Lake and took a break in the warm sunshine while sitting on a giant rock overlooking the blue, sparkling water and watched little fish swim around and jump every once in a while for their lunch.

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Bullfrog Lake

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Gilbert Lake

I ate the last of my snacks on that break. All I had left in my bear canister was two packets of mayo and my emergency Ramen – so I had one extra meal at least, but I was surprised that it’s true how much hungrier you get out here. I don’t know if it’s elevation, the colder temps, or all the climbing… maybe a combination of the three, but either way, I nearly ran out of food on this stretch! We were excited to get to town for a meal, resupply and Shat’s bakery. The hikers going up as we were coming down all told us we should go into Bishop for that bakery. It wasn’t hard to convince me!

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Reflection in Big Pothole Lake

The rest of our hike down brought us along rushing water and waterfalls in the distance. I got a little excited when I saw the pickle jar in the parking lot way down below from where we were. We still had a bit to go to get there, though. I missed Adam so much on this stretch and I couldn’t wait to give him a big hug. I wanted to run, but held back the urge so I didn’t hurt myself… and I did get my hug soon enough. I was so happy to see him!

He and Dishcloth were waiting for us with cold sodas, so we sat for a minute and enjoyed those before heading into town. We first stopped at that bakery. We all ordered awesome sandwiches – I got a BLT with avacado and sprouts – it was delicious! Then we went back in and ordered a bunch of yummy other stuff. I even got a small almond gelatto shake. Mmmmm….

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Lunch - yum!

It was almost an hour drive from Bishop to our hotel in Lone Pine, but it was fun with Dishcloth playing some good music from the back seat. We hung out for a bit once we got there, then I took a long, glorious shower, and Aloha and I went out to eat. We had a really nice time – I always look forward to spending time with him like that. The night went by quick after dinner. We met Dishcloth at a bar for a few drinks, then met the rest of the PRT crew back at one of their rooms and watched a movie. It was a fun day. Every day is fun out here!

Tomorrow we plan to resupply, eat more, relax and maybe eventually get back on the trail in the afternoon.


Tonight (and always) I love my dad. It’s Father’s Day, so I thought about him a lot. I even took a fun photo for him with a waterfall in the background because I know how much he likes them.

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♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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9 thoughts on “Day 56: Kearsarge Pass for bakery

  1. Hi! Total stranger here, just following people’s PCT blogs since I can’t go and am living vicariously through all of you bloggers! You’re doing such a good job bringing it to life on the page! Your positive attitude makes the whole thing, even the trials and tribulations, fun. Especially now that you’re in the Sierras, my favorite place! Thanks for that!

    Since you’re interested in the trees: If you’re still in Lone Pine(?), go to the Visitor’s Center on the south end of Lone Pine (it’s like a couple miles south of town, on the junction for the Death Valley turnoff) and they have little plastic placards that show all the different trees of the Sierras. You’d probably learn them all after one leg and you could ditch it! Aloha could probably get it for you in Bishop or at the Mammoth Lakes visitor center too (Mammoth has a great visitors center, especially if you like books).

    Anyway, here are the ones I know: Jeffrey Pine is the big one with the orange bark. It smells like vanilla if you stick your nose into the bark. Then there are Foxtail Pines, which have the bark worn off and look old and gnarled, twisty, pretty colors. Usually at high exposed elevation. Then you have white bark pines, which are scraggly, grow in little clumps with 3 or 4 narrow trunks close together. The ends of their branches look sort of even, or paint brush like, and their bark is on the whiter side of grey-brown. They have a gajillion pine cones and the Stellar Jays (grey black birds that scold you) love them. Then, you have the Mountain Hemlock. John Muir’s favorite tree. Looks like a regular whitebark pine, but has a very picturesque very pointy top. The last one I know is Lodgepole pine — very tall and straight, with smooth bark. Oh, I just remembered two more. Pinyon Pine (where Pine Nuts come from!) and Juniper. They both look sort of the same, pine-tree ish, but short and scraggly. I think the pinyon pine looks more like a tree, whereas Juniper is more a cross between a shrub and a tree, and it lives on the border of the desert and the mountain zones. Have fun! Hope you get this before Mammoth! :)

    Have fun out there!
    Susan in LA.

      • You’re welcome! They are a lot like the Ancient Bristlecone Pines, which are 4,000 year old famous ones. There aren’t any bristlecones (or only a couple) in the Sierras – they’re in the mountains on the other side of the Owens Valley, up by Big Pine. Beautiful spot, Adam should go there!

  2. Postcard pic of the Bullfrog Lake!!!!!
    Can’t believe how special it is for you to have your husband doing this with you like this! I would love to meet you both when you get up to WA!!! :)
    You are doing aMAZing!!

  3. Robin, Your Trail Journal is fantastic. I’ve been looking for a PCT Trail Journal that would appeal to my 4th grade Junior Girl Scouts and hold up to Girl Scout Values and yours is the one! They want to write you letters. We are in Sacramento. You should be hitting the Tahoe Area next month. How can we support you / get their letters to you? General Delivery? Can Aloha set something up for us? You are AWESOME! Your faith and positive attitude are inspiring the next generation and to me too! By the way… Toots Magoots? The girls LOVE THAT!

    • Wow! That is so sweet and I’m so honored! Than you! I’ll get our next mail drop address to you when we have that figured out. Probably will be a few weeks since we have the pickle jar/Aloha support. I’d love to get some letters… how cool! If possible, it would probably be easiest for pick up at the PO if you could send them in one package together… ? Can I just send info to the email listed with your comment? Thanks again – and tell those girls hi for me! :)

      • Hi Robin, yes please use the email attached to the comment. I would bundle the letters into one and mail them, OR I could leave them on the trail with some magic from the girls? The trail crosses highway 50 and I could drive it up a little in advance of your expected arrival?

    • This comment just made my day. How awesome that your girls want to share the love. Scouting is AWESOME, and this is a great way for the girls to do a good turn, for sure.

      Toots Magoots, I have been reading your blog for the past three days, and am loving it so much that my housework is suffering. I love it!! Thank you for bringing this wonderful experience to life for me.

  4. Jealous again, mostly because you made the trip to Schatts! Used to pick up loaf on my way up to snowboard at Mammoth Mt.; chili cheeze and ham, mmmm!! Have fun.

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