Our hike began with the long descent into Rockhouse Basin. Although slightly charred from a fire, the basin is still beautiful. The large, grassy valley is surrounded by granite ridges and peaks. Junipers and sage line the perimeter of the valley, with huge granite boulders scattered throughout.
We reached the 700 mile mark just after noon, but instead of stopping for lunch we pressed on to reach the Kennedy Meadows store. Swarms of hikers crowded on the porch, with many familiar faces among them. We ordered food and talked to other hikers, some of whom we hadn't seen for many miles.
While talking to other hikers we learned that the store has only two showers and one washer dryer set for laundry. The waiting list for the laundry was so long that one hiker claimed he had been on the list for a day and a half! Discouraged, we realized that we would be hiking out of Kennedy Meadows just as dirty as we hiked in.
Most hikers mail a large resupply box to Kennedy Meadows. But Kennedy Meadows is not far from our home, so my husband Jeff delivered our resupply in person, along with fresh pizza, salad, and other treats. He arrived at the store just as we were finishing a pint of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia. Then Sierra and I got back on the trail to hike the remaining miles to the Kennedy Meadows campground (elevation 6,150 ft), while he drove there and found a site. We enjoyed the evening, happy to have our family together again.