Day 78 (13/06/2018): Lily Pad Lake Tentsite to Tentsite at Mile 1088.4 (25.4 Miles)
Today was challenging. The morning was really nice and fairly easy, which was good because I was fairly hungover. Drank a beer (hair of the dog) while leaving the lake and walking with Wil and Vicious back to the car. Cool seeing the old blue Toyota 4 Runner again. I rode/drove in that vehicle from Juneau, AK down to Los Angeles after my first summer in Alaska. Epic road trip. Vicious’ knee was really bothering him after he fell on the snow the other day, so Wil took him into Tahoe on the way back. The afternoon was ﬁlled with lots of ups and downs and more snow. The Carson Pass Visitor Center had a cooler with drinks and snacks which was fantastic! Thanks guys! After Carson Pass it got really snowy and climbing over the snow drifts was almost too much at times. Nonetheless I continued on at a snail’s pace and rolled up to this wonderful campsite just before 6pm. Darwin and I got spots overlooking Lake Tahoe, and although it was a very pretty sunset the mosquitoes kind of ruined it. They were voracious. There were hundreds buzzing around while cooking dinner. I killed three with one swat. I think there’s one in my tent right now…
Day 79 (14/06/2018): Tentsite at Mile 1088.4 to Echo Lake at Mile 1092.3 (3.9 Miles)
Lots of mosquitoes to start the morning, luckily I put bug spray on before venturing out of the tent after my morning coffee. Beautiful little trail that we only got lost on once while Darwin was telling me the story of when he met Nimblewill Nomad. Great story and poem that he recited from memory. Either way, very fun easy morning of chill hiking and enjoying the trail. We got a hitch from a guy named Peter who used to own a backpack shop in Tahoe a few years ago. Super cool guy who happened to be dropping off another hiker named “Gandalf” when we saw them. My parents made it into town, we chilled at the hotel hot tub for a long time. Good day overall. Chinese food tonight and zero day tomorrow!
Day 80 (15/06/2018): Zero Day at Tahoe
Super chill. Got laundry and resupply ﬁnished. Mom is sending a box ahead to Sierra City so I don’t have to shop again up there. Had Indian food for dinner which was super good. The Moon and Venus looked incredible tonight. The ﬁrst world cup match I got to watch between Spain and Portugal was incredible. Christiano Ronaldo scored on a free kick for Portugal that curved super crazy around the defenders’ head to tie the game 3-3. Hat trick for Ronaldo, what a beast.
Day 81 (16/06/2018): Echo Lake Chalet to Richardson Lake at Mile 1118.6 (26.3 Miles)
Mom and Dad dropped us off around 7am and we made our way along the cold and breezy lake. The rocks jutting into my feet during the ﬁrst few miles made it not so pleasant. The views were superb though. The bit of snow on the back side of Dick’s Pass was very manageable as I foot skii’d down it. Passed a ton of Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) hikers which made it feel as though I was going in the wrong direction. Which I did at one point for about half a mile. Tons of lakes everywhere out here. Walked all the way through Desolation Wilderness. Great day, hope my feet feel better in the morning.
Day 82 (17/06/2018): Richardson Lake to Tentsite at Mile 1143.9 (25.3 Miles)
This morning I lounged in the tent until about 5:30am before starting the daily routine. Couldn’t ﬁnd my knife this morning, so it must’ve dropped somewhere at the end of the day yesterday. Bummer. It was cloudy all morning and my feet are hurting quite badly. After a bit I got into a rhythm and started cruising right along. Then I stepped on some wet, loose rocks that were on top of a much larger ﬂat rock and went down hard. Deﬁnitely the hardest I’ve fallen on trail. Smacked my elbow and wrist really hard and they instantly went numb. My hip is deﬁnitely bruised as well. Made 17 miles before stopping for lunch. The terrain has deﬁnitely changed for the better (except for the rocks) compared to the steep, seemingly never ending climbs up to passes in the Sierra. Today I only saw three other hikers, which felt just like I remember the PCT feeling the past few weeks. I was going to continue hiking to the spot Vicious was taking about, but the wind would’ve been blowing much harder up there and there was no water. I set up my tent and rain ﬂy then made a ﬁre. No longer than fifteen minutes had passed before the rain really started to come down. Good thing I chose to stay put.
Day 83 (18/06/2018): Tentsite at Mile 1143.9 to Highway 40 at Donner Pass (9.5 Miles)
What a lovely morning of taking my sweet ass time. Took two ibuprofen first thing to take the edge off how bad my feet and hip hurts, then proceeded to walk through some beautiful wildﬂower meadows. Once up on the ridge I took a side trail to Tinker Knob. Gorgeous viewpoint and it was so close to the trail too! Walking the road towards the highway I began to see more and more day hikers. One of them told me congratulations, and another said how good I look for having hiked that far. I may have blushed. Once down to the road I walked over to the Donner Ski Ranch where they gave me a free forty ounce Bud Light! The nachos were superb as well (thanks to Vicious for the heads up on those). Then I hitched into Truckee with a guy named Tom who is somewhat of an old ski bum. Resupplied for six days and sent it to Belden. Finished the night talking shit with Vicious at the state park campground. I think he’s decided to actually leave the trail this time.
Day 84 (19/06/2018): Donner Pass to Mules Ear Creek Tentsite at Mile 1179.3 (25.9 Miles)
Got a late start today around 8am leaving Highway 40. Big thanks to Dean from the State Park for giving me a ride back to the trail! I really enjoyed today. It wasn’t very challenging, but it was very pretty with all the ﬂowers blooming. Views from the top of ridges were spectacular for the majority of the day as well. My shoes are thoroughly trashed and my feet are hating me. Can’t wait to get a new pair in Sierra City!
Wil cowboy camping next to all the beers we managed to put downThe trail is really opening upVistas galore!Really loving the lack of snowBack to beautiful wild flowers on the trailTrees, where trees shouldn’t beFirst view of Lake TahoeCool old buildings in a cool old meadowNot quite out of it yet I guessDinner with a view (and loads of mosquitoes)Lake Aloha, Mahalo!There was a ton of driftwood floating aboutTruly stunning views around Desolation WildernessAlpine Lakes full of trout are still a thingThis picture can’t show how bright pink these flowers really wereCool rock formationsRidge lines are always funForests of mossy trees begin nowHiking through this field of plants first thing in the morning was amazingFantastic ridge line hiking after getting a little off trail peakJust lovelySelf timers are key when no one else is around on the trailJagged peaks aheadLupine blossoming once again