Miles: 0 in South Lake Tahoe
Health: All good
Currently reading: Radical
We slept in to the ripe ol’ time of 6am. We hung around for a while and then decided to hit up ihop for breakfast. Kick decided to go to Denny’s and Bearman was meeting up with a friend, so it was back to The Adventures of Mother Hen & Khaleesi. I got tres leches pancakes. YUM.
Then we walked down to the sporting store to try and find food bags. We want to mail the bear can home but our ursacks are in Old Station, a few hundred miles ahead. No one has food bags. Ugh! We decide to just buy dry sacks and sleep with our food, as many hikers seem to do. Rodents are more of a threat than bears.
We then met up with Kick and we all decided to walk a few blocks to the state line of Nevada just to say we’ve walked out of California. It was nice but the call of custom ice cream sandwiches was strong and we went to The Baked Bear. I got salted Carmel fudge ice cream with a brownie and a cookies and cream cookie. All topped with mini m&m’s and caramel. I love walking 20 miles a day and getting to eat whatever I want.
We then went to resupply and got lunch at Base Camp Pizza Co. this pizza place gives any PCT hiker (with a permit) a free personal pizza, pasta, or salad. We each got the Thai Pizza. It was heavenly.
Tahoe is so, so crowded because of the 4th of July and it’s really bizarre being around so many people.
We also went to the post office and I got my new shoes! Yippy! After over 700 miles, it was beyond time. Also, our bear cans were mailed home!
We ran in Ross and I got some new sunglasses after the stream crossing incident. We ended the day by going to the public beach to see the lake. There were so many people but that didn’t diminish the beauty before us. I got a call from my sister and family and I showed them Tahoe over FaceTime.
We got dinner at a health food cafe. It was delicious and made us feel a bit better about all the crap we eat on trail.
Currently reading: Never Fall Down
We left the hotel around 8am. We got an Uber to take us to the trailhead. Bearman decided to stay in San Francisco for a bit so it was just Hen, Kicks, and I heading out.
The day was filled with tons of people as we were walking along both Echo Lake and the Desolation Wilderness. (The most visited wilderness per acre in the country.) Echo Lake was beautiful as was the nearby Aloha Lake. We saw lots of paddle boarders and boaters.
The weather was great, overcast and a slight breeze. The trail itself was a bloody nightmare filled with lose rock and huge boulders. We ended on an awful uphill to crest “Dick’s Pass”. I know, so many jokes were made about that one.
We finally made camp and found that the rumours about bad mosquitoes in Desolation were very, very true. Apparently this area is also the most active area for bears in the state as well. Great, now that I don’t have a bear can and I’ll be sleeping with my food the bears’ll show up. Hopefully I live to write another blog.
Health: I felt very fatigued today.
Currently reading: Never Fall Down
Well, I loved through the night but then I SAW A BEAR!!
On our first leg of the hike today I started to get really tired for some reason and so I fell behind Hen and Kick. I was listening to my book when all of a sudden, about 15-20ft to my right I heard a huge crashing sound. Now, this morning we also heard a crashing noise but it was only a branch falling or a pine cone hitting the ground. So I immediately pictured that it was probably the same culprit as this morning, though I wanted to make sure. There was a lot of foliage blocking the view so I had to look hard when all of a sudden I saw a big flash of brown run by. I froze knowing it was a big animal but I wasn’t sure if it was a bear or just an obese deer. I walked on about 10ft to get a bit of distance from whatever it was and looked back through the trees. Lo and behold, there was a big brown animal standing between two trees with the sun shining behind it. It suddenly moved its large bear head and I could clearly see that it was indeed a bear as it began to trot away. I must have scared it out of its tree or something. I’m kicking myself I didn’t get photo or video but it all just happened so fast. I quickly caught back up to Kick and spent the rest of the day jumping at anything brown I saw. The woods are filled with brown things, have you noticed?
The rest of the day was a bit of a bummer. I had super low energy and I can’t figure out why. Today’s hike wasn’t to bad and I slept great last night. I think I may be calorie and/or protein deficient again.
We camped in a great spot with very few mosquitoes and the three of us discussed our favourite colours and all the “enlightenment” we’ve gotten on trail.
Miles: 17.5 or something.
Health: Feeling good
Currently reading: Room
Today was pretty chill, honestly not much to report.
The terrain was more difficult than yesterday but since I was feeling better it was fine.
We walked through two different ski resorts just outside of the Tahoe area and could see the lake for much of the day. I am loving the views in this section and I throughly enjoy getting to walk through some forest sections. We also crossed the American River which turned out to be little more than a trickle.
I also had cell service twice in one day which is unheard of with Sprint.
Tomorrow we tackle Tinker Nob which is a two mile hike up and it looks monstrous. Then we go down to Donner Pass, yes as in “Donner Party cannibalism” Donner Pass, and grab lunch before getting to Truckee. No worries, I’m a vegetarian, no mystery meats coming my way.
Currently reading: Room
Well, Tinker Nob didn’t turn out to be all that bad. The app, Guthook, that hikers use for maps and elevation is often wrong about how steep something will be. It told us it would be one of the worst uphills yet on trail and it wasn’t even close.
Once past there we had about 7 miles down to Donner Pass and a restaurant. The landscape was very Lord of the Rings-esqu and I loved it.
Once at Donner, we waited briefly for the restaurant to open and then we had an early lunch. The Donner Ski Ranch offers PCT hikers a free drink and we very gladly partook.
Through a series of kind of complicated connections, Hen had someone for us to stay with in Truckee. Dawn picked us up and took us back to her beautiful home for the night. We had Mexican food, resupplied, and snuggled doggos. It was great. She and her kids were so generous to let us stay with them and deal with our stench.
Currently reading: Room
Dawn drove us back to the trailhead and we started out again. The trail was so nice and almost easy today.
We stopped at an actual car rest stop and took a break. Next we made it to a cabin that is open for use by hikers and skiers.
I met a couple who recognized me from my YouTube channel and it totally made my day! They said I’m on their living room wall all the time and then told me a bit about what to expect once I get to Washington because they’ve done that section of the trail.
The rest of the day was chill and nothing to exciting happened apart from catching up to Kick at camp. We were also visited by a very bold doe who has come back twice now. I feel she may make an appearance while we sleep tonight.
Health: A few random new blisters. Ugh.
Currently reading: Today I just listened to music.
I feel like the last couple of days on trail have been a bit uneventful, but not in a bad way. The trail has been on the easier side and we’re literally just walking and resting. Walking and resting. Walking and resting.
The views are lovely and we’re doing a lot of in forest hiking which is super wonderful to me. We haven’t seen to many other hikers but we did meet Weezer and Tripod.
We did the math and now have a plan of how many miles we need to do each day to finish. We’re really going to start stepping up the miles soon. It’s about to get real.
We camped at mile 1191 at Milton Creek which is a gorgeous little spot, one of my favorite campsites so far. Tomorrow we go into Sierra City briefly to pick up our boxes.
Miles: 16.8 including a stop in Sierra City
Health: Blisters, oh why?!
Currently reading: Room
Today was three months on trail! Crazy how time flies and yet it has also been an eternity.
We left camp and had almost a four mile hike to the road into town. Once we hit the road we had another 1.5 mile road walk in which we were unsuccessful in getting a hitch.
We arrived in Sierra City which is a tiny town with tiny stores with stupid hours. We found the Red Moose was open for breakfast and we went in. We ran into Mike which was so fun to see him, we hadn’t seen him since Kennedy Meadows South.
Next we went to the General Store where I picked up my box. The box had to much food but also held my new outfit that my parents got me for my birthday a month ago! No more pants falling off my booty! Red sparkly gaiters again! New shirt!
I bounced some of my food forward because I don’t believe in carrying extra, maybe I’m just lazy.
On the way out of town we hitched and got a super nice guy in a truck. I finally sat in the bed of a pickup on trail. I’m a real thruhiker now.
We had a somewhat brutal eight mile climb in the heat and humidity. It’s just as hot as in the desert now and way more humid. My new clothes smelled like the pits within fifteen minutes.
The hike took a few hours but we finally made it to a decent camp spot next to a lake. While I was off alone answering nature’s call, I was spooked by a young buck hiding in the bushes. Hen and I went back down to watch him and I think we petrified him and he started running all around freaking out. I may be buck prey tonight.
Health: Acid reflux kinda thing
Currently reading: Room
Last night, a group of morons came into camp around 10:30pm and started talking and smoking until midnight. They kept me up and I had to breath in smoke for quite a while. Then, at 4:50am, when they decided to get up and pack up camp, they started playing music whilst talking and smoking again. I almost got up but honestly what would have gone down would not have been very Christ-like. EG there would have been five dead hikers and one on the run from the police.
I was super crabby for the rest of the morning. I probably got four hours of sleep, plus my air mattress has another hole in it somewhere so that’s also not helping with the sleep.
We ended up yo-yoing this group for the rest of the day and I refused to acknowledge their existence. We kept listening in on their conversation to try and figure out where they planning to camp so we could avoid it.
Hiking was on the easier side today and it was very overcast. It even rained a very little bit. We were actually cold for most of our breaks although it was still humid.
We camped by a stream and appear to be on our own. I had the nastiest dinner of a cold soaked, taco rice Knorr side. Blek.
Health: More new blisters
Currently reading: Room & In Cold Blood
Today was a sucky day. I was really in the pits.
Somehow I pulled a muscle in my back that only hurt when I wore my backpack or breathed, so like, none of the time. We had two big uphills at the start of the day and it was already hot and humid. Once we finally got to water we had to walk an extra .6 miles to get it from trail.
One shining moment of the day was a great spread of trail magic. A trail mom had tacos and lemonade for us, she even had vegetarian tacos! Yippy! We ate and headed back on trail before our food was fully digested which meant I had cramps for the next 4 miles. Lovely.
I misunderstood where the next water was so I had only brought one liter for over nine miles of humid hiking. Bad.
A big percentage of hikers quit the trail within the first two weeks, another big percentage quit right around where we are now, the half way point. I never understood how someone could quit after going through so much and coming so far, but I get it now. There’s some weird voodoo that happens here in NorCal, it’s super discouraging no matter how motivated you are.
About 2.2 miles before the water I found Spirit Kick sitting beside the trail. He wasn’t having a great day either. We had a nice little chat about having bad days on trail and he gave me the bit of encouragement that I really, really needed at that moment.
I can do this.
We camped by a river and ate dinner on this huge bridge over a couple of skinny dippers. Appetizing. We’re camping below 3,000ft for the first time in ages. I kept smelling what I thought was poo, human or otherwise, and I came to find that I set up my tent right next a pile of horse crap. It’s gonna be one of those nights.
Health: Blisters are for real
Currently reading: In Cold Blood
I woke up at 4:30am to a deflated mattress and I decided enough was enough. I searched and searched and finally found a tiny hole. I patched it up and I’m hoping that maybe that’ll be solved for a bit.
I left first because we had a 10 miles climb and I’m the slowest uphill. When I made it to Bear Creek I made a slug friend. He was green and stripy and I named him Norbert. Kick had never seen a slug before. He’s also never seen The Lion King. What is his life?
The climb up wasn’t fun but I think I’m adapting. Finally, after three months. It has been so humid and hot I am constantly drenched in my own sweat.
Half way up I suggested maybe we should go into Quincy instead of Belden as we have time to kill and the comments seemed so positive about Quincy. We decided to go for it and made our way to the road to hitch. The hitch was a bit discouraging but we finally got a woman who had just been camping for the past few days and we squeezed into her car. She was awesome and so generous. Her friend pulled up beside her and said, “I saw you guys and I just KNEW she’d pick you up!” We need more people in the world like the woman who stopped for us!
She brought us to a hotel and we got a suite for us to split. We went to Moon for dinner and got pizza. We had dinner with another hiker, Hotwheels. Quincy seems very hiker friendly and I’m so glad we decided to stop.