Had to make up for my short day. 24 miles up a few thousand then down quite a few thousand. Such a long descent. Still, the mended shoe let in fewer rocks and my re-readjusted pack was fairly tolerable. The Kern River finally came into view in late afternoon. Pulling water from it, a water strider dipped into my bottle and I watched it mill around for a bit before using my bandanna to strain it out. River water has a distinctive flavor, something like algae and feet combined.
Far Out and I met up again at the river and walked the final 5 miles into Kennedy Meadows together, reaching the general store porch in the twilight. Many friends and a good reception. We camped in the back 40.