Day 51 – 6/2/15
Death Canyon Creek
Miles – 21.2
Total Miles – 756.0 (PCT 730.7)Last night was literally a bumpy night. We did not look at the ground very well and we had large lumps of dirt making for an uncomfortable nights sleep. The hiking this morning was slow. No one was moving fast. I think altitude is taking its toll on us. We hiked up the valley we slept in and came out at Beck Meadow. We then crossed a small ridge and dropped into Monarch Meadow. Monarch Meadow is the largest meadow in the Sierras. We took a brake at the bridge over the South Folk of the Kern River. The bridge is home to hundreds of swallows. They were swooping under the bridge to their nests. It was fun to just sit there and watch them.
Once we left the bridge we had a long climb up Cow Canyon. By the end of the climb, we were over 10,000′ in elevation causing us all to breath heavily. By the time we got to the top of Cow Canyon, we were starting to run low on water, instead of having to pump the water up there, we decided to hike another 9 miles to the spring at Death Canyon. After filling up our water bottles at the spring, we left Cow Canyon and traversed across Olancha peak. The views to the south were beautiful. The rest of the day we dropped down toward Gomez Meadow and then over to Death Canyon. Late in the day when we were hiking through Gomez Meadow we heard a jet flying toward us. There was a large rock wall just to the west of us and the jet came right over it, directly over our heads. It was so low, it seems as if we could reach up and touch it. It probably was no more than 300′ above us. It made a quick left turn and headed into the desert. Everyone looked wide eyed with their hands over their ears. It was incredibly loud. Moments later a second jet did the same thing again. After that excitement, we hiked on to Death Canyon and a little before sun set, we found a place to camp. As the kids and Mama Raven pitched the tents, I went in search of the spring for water. I found it coming out of a pile of rocks. The kids showed up with the rest of the bottles and we filled them. Now we are ready for tomorrow’s dry section.