We started hiking today at 5 am. It was cold as most mornings are out here, which makes it hard to get moving in the morning. I have found that it takes me almost exactly 30 min. to pack up every morning. Oliver and Lucky Hat were both ready at five, and we set off.
The exit path we choose was the Bull Frog Lake Trail, which connects with the Kearsarge Trail and over Kearsarge pass. We reached the top at 6:30 am and took a 30 min. break on top and took in the view. We made good time hiking down through the snow until we got below 10,000 feet, and reached the trailhead at 8:50 am. We knew it was going to be tough to get a ride down to Independence since we were at a dead end road, and so we waited for either a section hiker or someone at the campground to head down the mountain.
Three other hikers joined us while we waited. About an hour later a lady named Joy drove up and dropped off a hiker. She was the lady with the crazy car I saw at Walker Pass. She came over to where we were waiting and, after talking for a while, offered to taxi us to town. We were about to go for it when a guy at the campground came over in his van and offered us a ride to Independence. All six of us climbed in headed the 15 steep miles to the valley floor.