Sometime in the mid 1980s, I planned to backpack the JMT from Red's Meadow south, and exit at Lake Sabrina, in early fall. I dropped my car off with relatives in Bishop, hitched to Red's Meadow, and started hiking. In those days, my pack probably weighed over 40 pounds.
Two days later, camped near Silver Lake, I had bad blisters on both feet, a runaway bloody nose, and snow was falling. Message received loud and clear, I decided to bail out. But which way? Heading east required going much higher, a bad idea with snow falling.
So I headed west into the unknown, via Edison Lake. I was looking forward to taking the shuttle across the lake. Missed the last shuttle of the season by several days, and hiked all the way to VVR.
They were closing shop for the winter when I arrived. I bought the last beer they sold that season, and stepped outside to ponder my options as they locked the doors.
A few minutes later, I was standing in the rain on Kaiser Pass Road with my thumb out. No vehicles passed for over 30 minutes. Not looking good.
Then a pickup truck with two backpackers stopped. They offered to cram me in up front, but I was wet, dirty, and smelly, so I chose to ride in the open bed in the back. Not wanting to repeat an earlier hypothermic experience in the back of a truck, I put on all my warm clothing and rain gear, climbed in the back, and away we went down the infamous Kaiser Pass Road.
I barely remember the road, because I was fascinated by the storm raging around me, complete with thunder and lightning. Decades later I drove that road with white knuckles, and it took me quite a while to recall I'd been there before!
Eventually we stopped in Fresno, where they offered to drop me off. All I knew about Fresno was it was a pretty big city, and I was highly likely to get lost. They lived in a smaller town south of Fresno - Visalia? - so they dropped me off there at a Motel 6. The next day, after three Greyhound bus rides, I was back in Bishop. I spent the rest of my vacation car camping on the California coast, and had a great time.
Not sure this helps the OP, but the post did reactivate some long-dormant memories.