After a lovely warmer, drier night (my bid to sleep at a lower elevation paid off), I walked down the last few thousand feet, the last handful of miles, to the trailhead at Road’s End. Descending into Kings Canyon in the morning was beautiful as it was steadily illuminated in the strengthening morning sun. It’s a classic Sierra valley, u-shaped and flanked by steep granite walls, carved out of the earth by a glacier some 12000 years ago. And now here I was, a little wee atom moving slowly down its side, all these eons later.

As I descended, at around 6000 feet I picked up a hearty cadre of face flies–so glad to know I would get one more chance to hang with them before ending, and I finished to the fanfare of their irritating whine in my ears and whipping them away from my face.

I was walking toward the road, thinking I would start the walk in to Cedar Grove, six miles west, because it was early and it didn’t seem like a hitch would be forthcoming, when I ran into a pair of other hikers who were sitting by the side of the road waiting to hitch. We stopped to chat and as we were a talking a car drove by and stopped to pick all three of us up. (It was guy who had just started a long, twelve day trip into the wilderness but came out almost instantly to go buy a headnet because the face flies were so bothersome.)

In Cedar Grove, I had a shower, did a load of laundry, and have eaten their snack bar meals for most of the day. Tomorrow I’ll catch a ride a couple hours west to Fresno and fly home–I’ll be landing in Seattle around 8:30p. Back home.

Descending into Kings Canyon

The end

Day 39: end/out/finish

11 thoughts on “Day 39: end/out/finish

  • September 26, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Hi Katherine,
    I have so enjoyed following you along through the Sierra, You brought me with you right up in to the Sierra at a time when my own trip did not pan out. Thank you!!! I met you at the start of your Hayduke adventure at the spring in the Needles in Salt Creek. I was so happy to get the email inviting me to join you on this trip. The Sierra are a magical place and I am so happy for you that you got to experience that. I know you will be back. They are hard to resist.
    My best to you,
    Anne Clare
    Moab Utah

  • September 25, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    I have tears. This has been an absolutely thrilling chronicle, and I have read every word and absorbed every photo with glee and excitement and trepidation and triumph along with you! I am stunned at your levels of capability, of introspection, of technical knowledge, of awareness of beauty– both inner and outer! You are magnificent Katherine, and yet just a mere atom clinging to a foreign landscape. Thank you for a terrific ride!!! Can’t wait to see you at CDP!!!
    Love and admiration,

  • September 20, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    What an adventure, and what a blog. Thank you for sharing your adventures so beautifully with all of us. And the photos. And the videos.

    I loved the final photo in this post. It would be “Fin” in a French film – your “END” penned on a map is just as poetic, and says just as much.

  • September 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    All I can say is WOW – what an experience for you to do solo. Beautiful and challenging country. Get some rest and am sure you have a new itinerary in the planning!! Will be looking forward to sharing it with you.

  • September 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Wow, you are such an amazing woman! Congratulations on your wonderful adventure. Your photographs are spectacular!

  • September 18, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed following your amazing adventure.
    Thanks for the careful documentation. I especially appreciated the short videos on ways to put on your pack, clearly from your perspective as a dancer. I saw those images as little performances and they always made me smile.
    Welcome back, welcome home, and congratulations!

  • September 18, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Well done.
    I must go hiking down there.
    Did you bring home some flies???

  • September 18, 2017 at 3:27 am


    Impressed by your “keep the bears away” chanting and noise. It did the trick.

    Hugs and much love, daya

  • September 18, 2017 at 3:04 am

    Ah, Katherine. Job well done!!
    It sounds like an extraordinary adventure and good time–flies and all.
    Look forward to seeing you.

  • September 18, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Congratulations! I need to catch up but you’ve been an inspiration since I read about your PNT blog. Way to go!

  • September 18, 2017 at 12:04 am

    What a journey. Loved reading about it! Congratulations.


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