Today I finally left Kennedy meadows. What a great day to be alive. I had an eczema flare up last night. I have no clue from what, I haven't had a reaction yet on trail. So weird. It was my first time packing all my things with my bear can and man, did I have trouble. I packed and unpacked everything about four times. I literally could not get my bag to close, so I dumped everything out of stuff sacks and just filled the spaces with pieces of clothing. I tied my ice axe and spikes onto the outside and finally got it to barely close. I went over to the scale to the weigh it and it was 39lbs. Damn! Probably heaviest to date. It felt pretty heavy but didn't feel the pain till later.
I hiked out with my fav married friends: Jackie/mike and Nate/Meg! I was so happy to be with them again. They remind me of all my friends back home. It's weird that we all started from campo on the same day and both couples were off trail for several days and now we're all at the same place. I was so happy to be on trail again. It had been way too long loitering at km, they were starting to remember my name when I ordered stuff. At the trail register, a man came up to talk to us and told us that they dropped off their kids, Emily and Jake, who just started their thru hike. We were excited to meet the couple. The whole trail today was so nice. It was overcast with some sun. We went through open meadows, trees and even a burned section.
Every time I overpack my bag 35lbs+, I get terrible shoulder pains. So painful that I have to shrug my shoulder and take some weight off every 15 minutes. It was so rough. And I can't just lighten the load quickly either, I'd have to slowly eat the food after a few days to feel a difference but good thing there's water almost every five miles or so. The longest stretch now should only be 10 miles. The pack weight was also making my feet hurt pretty bad. If I had a normal pack that could carry a heavy load, I would be totally fine. It's the pains that really get to me and make it really difficult to walk. I really need to figure out some things to send home or maybe not pack so much food.
Meg and I got to chat a little which was nice. She is one of the few people to genuinely asks how I'm doing etc. We got to a nice river with such pretty green grass and views. We hung out with ET and Heffe there. I really like them. First new friends I've met in a long time that aren't super annoying. I hope to see them more through the sierras and in town. We decided to hike another few miles to camp and Emily and Jake are at the tent site! It was fun to finally meet them. Now we are all camped together here. It feels pretty weird to be camping in a group but I really love these people. I'm so used to solo or one other person so it'll be interesting to see how I adjust.