Within Kings Canyon, slumbers an ancient energy. The water is crisp and delicious and the earth, a rich, dark brown. Granite peaks saturated with sunlight shine as if from within, humming with power. The very air is alive. Around every bend another lake waits for discovery, which is akin to finding a diamond the size of a football field. It is impossible not to let that energy permeate your mind and body, and it makes for long, happy summer days within the range of light.
Kearsarge is a great word (and dog name). It’s a fun word, but there is a hardness to it, like the real pass. The climb up the western side is challenging, with some serious ‘east coast’ graded switchbacks. But the view from the top is absolutely staggering. To the west squats Bullfrog Lake, an azure gem reflecting the saw tooth backdrop. To the east, the heat distorted desert screams discomfort. As you make your way down the eastern face, you pass several lakes connected by streams and cascading waterfalls. The eastern face of Kearsarge Pass is the epitome of west coast trail construction. It is at times, obnoxiously switchbacked. Though the climb back up with full packs is super easy.
We hitched with some hipster vampires from LA into Independence. From there an 18 wheeler took us to Bishop, where we stayed at the Hostel California. Opened this season and in a 112 year old Victorian, it is worth the extra hitch into Bishop just to stay there. The owner is a young man who enjoys rock climbing and acting like The Dude. He allows hikers to work for their beds, and thought it was a good idea to have a ‘lamp cache’. Granted, there was a stern note saying, “Take only what you need!” Two hikers left with a large brass lamp, though I never saw it on the trail. Continue reading Kearsarge Is a Good Dog Name