The Breakfast Club: Kennedy Meadows Campout
Thursday–Sunday, 21–24 Sep 2023
Pictures from Carl, Jag, Marc, and Tom
I resurrected the September campout and ride to Kings Canyon in 1997. With a few minor modifications – for a while we camped in Sequoia instead of the canyon – the campout has mostly taken place.
- In 1998 Rob and I tried to camp, but didn’t make it past Fresno due to bike issues.
- In 2012 there was no campout for unremembered reasons.
- In 2020 COVID stopped all activities
- In 2021 California fires closed the park – we camped at Hendy Woods, instead.
This year the road to the bottom of Kings Canyon was closed due to the storms of last winter. We made alternate plans, deciding on a campground near Kennedy Meadows near the top of Sonora pass.
Five riders indicated they were “in” for the trip: Carl, Chris, Jag, Marc, and Tom. Five riders were at the Black Bear Diner for breakfast. But one of those riders was Russ who joined us for the first part of the ride. Where is Chris?
Chris lost track of time reading his morning paper. He got to the restaurant parking lot as we were preparing to leave.
The plan was to stop for fuel in Mi Wuk village. A few miles early my butt said stop now so we pulled into a Valero station in Sugar Pine, between Twain Harte and Mi Wuk village. The break was welcome. It’s about 40 more miles to Kennedy Meadows where we will look for a camp site. There are two campgrounds nearby, Baker and Deadman.
As we climbed 108 the weather turned damp. The road was wet from off and on showers. At least it is not a full rain. Still, we slowed down to account for road conditions.
The campgrounds are first come, first served. Baker campgound is at the Kennedy Meadows turn off from 108. There was room. Good. That will be our fallback. Tom and Jag rode on to Deadman campgound while I waited for Chris and Carl at the turnoff. There was one site left at deadman, a double site that was big enough for 8 or 10 campers. We claimed it. The only down side is there are no discounts for double sites.
There were a few more short and light showers as we were setting up camp. They stopped as we were preparing for beer time. That was the last rain we saw during the trip. I didn’t need the tarp I’d raised over my tent. The tarp went up due to questions about my tent’s ability to shed water. Water made its way into the tent last trip.
Tom also used a tarp. When he unpacked his tent he discovered its rain fly had died. The fly had windows that had disintegrated in the few months since last use. His tarp came to the rescue.
We were in our tents around 8 PM. The warmth of a sleeping bag called.
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