It's May, and though California only recorded 5% of a normal snowpack, err, 3%, still that turns out to be plenty when climbing from the desert up the Pacific Crest Trail into the mountains, into the high Sierra around Cottonwood Pass and Horseshoe Meadows. I couldn't dawdle through this section, not while trying to keep my nephew Eli Huscher, here seen in a typical pose, in sight:
More on this surprising section of PCT for the curious, bellow the virtual fold:
Trail touches the south fork of the Kern River briefly, then shoots up a pinyon'ed slope, through a burn, and into a vast openness, Beck Meadow:
At 716 you will come to a cross of the south fork of the Kern River, and find a great sign, not far from which, comes a special crossing:
Lovely for a walker to have the need to cross this river taken so seriously:
Arrived at this superb half-hidden campside, at mile 716, in mid-afternoon. Eli was long gone, so I couldn't stay, but I enjoyed visiting with Noah (in the shades) and Topher from Georgia, who said he had never been out west before. He plans to go on to hike the John Muir Trail to Yosemite. What a great way to first see California, to journey through the High Sierra!