Today was not a good day, and I will apologise upfront for the whinging. I know they are all first world problems, but I miss my friends and I’m tired of hiking with nothing to see.
It didn’t start well, with condensation on my sleeping bag and the inside of my tent soaked. I’d known it was going to happen when I found the site but it didn’t make it any more fun to pack up wet things.
The first 15 miles of the day were through the forest. Things I love about forests: they smell good, they have fun animals like squirrels and deer, the paths are often soft and springy which is a delight to walk on, and they are cool and shady so it is easy to hike fast. Things I do not love about forests: they are cool and shady so the mosquitoes love to hang out there, the trees are packed such that there aren’t any views other than the trees, and one tree looks very much like another. I was bored out of my mind for 15 miles.
Thankfully the hiking fast meant that 10 miles were done by 10am (a ten-by-ten, yay!) and 15 by noon. That brought me to Barker Pass trailhead with pit toilets and cell service. I spent a good hour and a half eating lunch, catching up with people I missed and trying to resist the urge to go into town and go home.
The afternoon was better though. A climb up out of the parking lot gave a view of Lake Tahoe, which was repeated through the afternoon. I met Crazy AZ on the climb, from Toronto and also thru-hiking. The climb ended on a ridge which the trail followed for a couple of miles. The views of Lake Tahoe on one side were complemented by views of vast forested hills on the other. I passed a ski area, and wondered what the trail would look like buried under 6 feet of snow. I also had cell service most of the afternoon so could keep talking with the people who were still awake.
I had intended to stop at the water, for a 26 mile day but the weather was still lovely at 6:30pm and I decided to hike a couple more miles. I slotted a tent in by Tiffany who is hiking a section over 3 weeks, and her partner Mike. Crazy AZ also rocked up later, and it was nice to have company over dinner.
Camping: Mile 1140