Miles hiked: Nero out of Ebbetts Pass – 5.3 miles (including TH side trail back to the PCT)
Camped at: Eagle Creek with Firestarter and Cat Burglar
On the trail at 1pm and in camp by 4pm. What a life! Actually, we’re trying to time when we will get to Echo Lake on Weds to hit the PO in the limited time it is open, so did a short day today. Our journey from Carson Valley/Minden back to the trail was mostly painless – for the first stretch 2 awesome ladies who were in the area for the Death Race yesterday gave us a ride back to Markleeville. Cat Burglar yogi’d the ride as we were all checking out of the Casino. After scoping out the general store to finish resupply, we went to the deli next door for an early lunch at 10:30 when they opened. Too bad even I was too full to indulge in the great looking ice cream they had there! We then tried to hitch a ride for probably close to an hour, and a sweet couple in a new Lexus actually turned around and gave us a ride back up to the trailhead. Unfortunately the windy road made all of us slightly carsick but we sat in the shade for a bit and then headed out. Thanks to Mountain Mary for stocking the trail magic cooler at the road crossing – even getting back from town it was a treat to not only pack out a Coke, but also have a trail register for the first time in hundreds of miles that I’ve seen! I love seeing when folks I know came thru :).
The trail was literally a series of gently rolling hills in the short stretch we hiked today – still lovely with wildflowers and views. Lots of day hikers and weekenders heading back to their cars made the miles go by fast. I took 2 breaks, the first just to cool down as the exposed areas were quite hot in the sun today, and the second with the gals where they stopped a mile from camp. This is a nice campsite, and Eagle Creek, while not flowing where it crosses the trail, is flowing nicely a bit lower down the gully, but it does look like this seasonal source will be drying up soon.
Otherwise, my thoughts have been consumed with seriously contemplating flipping up to Washington at the end of the month so I don’t have to worry about beating winter in the northern Cascades, then hiking Oregon and the rest of Northern California in a flip flop thru hike. 15-18 miles per day seems to be my sweet spot (which may change with the terrain but I can’t ignore that I seem to have less energy and go much slower than my peers) but simply per the number of miles left that’s just not going to get me to Canada before snow becomes a serious threat. Maybe SOBO from the CAN border back to CA?? Or start at Cascade Locks with the early wave of NOBOs -? Either way, since I have no time limit, just weather concerns, I could hike into October this way….while I love the simplicity of hiking the entire trail NOBO without flipping about, I definitely want to be able to see the entire trail this year if at all possible! We’ll see, I’ll be investigating ways of actually doing a flip in South Lake Tahoe in a few days. If anyone has any experience doing a flip like this, I’d welcome your comments!
Firestarter and Cat Burglar at the trail magic cooler: