When we got to Kitchen Creek on Friday night, it was late and I had to walk all the way to the back of the campground to find a spot near the only water spigot, so that the horses would have water. Unfortunately, Takoda also seemed to have sprained a hind leg somewhere along the way, and his left hock was getting swollen and stiff. Thankfully, my mother and her sister had driven up to camp at Walker Pass during the day, before planning to meet me with the trailer in Kennedy Meadows the next afternoon, and she was able to come pick Takoda up in the morning so that he could rest and recover. Shyla and I then made the rest of the trip up and over the mountain into the flat expanse of Kennedy Meadows, with the Sierra just barely visible rising in the distance in front of us, a little snow glistening at times at the tops of the peaks.
We all went back to Walker Pass again to camp for the night, and then the next morning I took the horses and the truck and trailer and drove up north along Interstate 5, heading for a campground near Etna. I had an appointment with a shoer and then some preparation to do for the next couple of days before I would start riding the first northern portion of the trail. My hope was that by skipping the Sierra for now and coming back later in a month or so I would give the snow time to melt. The problem is that there is still a lot of snow up north also, and so the challenge will be to find any parts of the trail that are rideable. If I don't make progress somewhere, I won't be able to finish the whole distance before it starts snowing again in the fall along the PCT in Washington, so it's a very narrow window that I am trying to squeeze through.