Day 98: 7/15/14, PCT Mile 1089.1

Miles hiked: 16.9
Camped at: seasonal stream campsite ~5mi before Echo Lake with Firestarter and Cat Burglar

Fresh fruit, ahhhhhh. The #1 item I consistently crave out here, though a cheeseburger (or second breakfast if I’m early enough) the day coming into town is a very close second. The wonderful volunteer ladies at Carson Pass Visitor Center gave me pineapple pieces, string cheese, coconut macaroons, cherries, and 2 nectarines (1 of which I packed out – yum!). So wonderful! It was so nice to chat with them, relax at the picnic table and bench, and pet the dog Teddy. All I expected was to be able to get water I didn’t need to treat! Needless to say, I spent a good 2 hours there this morning. Thank you again!!!! The large map of the entire PCT hanging on the side of the Visitors Center made me cringe though – it looks like I’ve come so little in the past 3 months in the grand scheme of the trail.

Today’s hike began much like yesterday’s – exposed ridge walking but with lots of wildflowers and not quite so sandy and desert-y feeling. Once I was within a mile of the road, a veritable wave of humanity kept coming – day hikers intent on seeing the wildflower peak. While I enjoy talking with day hikers, today was a bit much – I must have passed 100 people between both sides of the road crossing. And today is Tuesday! After a few miles, though, I had the trail to myself again.

Hmm, I think a pack cover is going on my shopping list for South Lake Tahoe tomorrow. Yet another mid afternoon thunderstorm to liven up our day! Once again I was climbing, but happily not nearly as exposed as I was yesterday. After not getting used much for 1000 miles, the rain gear is certainly getting a workout these days. I really don’t mind hiking in the rain – so much cooler when climbing!

I have a weird shoulder sore (for lack of a better term) that’s been there since I carried 8 days of food in my bear can in the last section – so heavy, my shoulder straps were undoubtedly taxed, thus my shoulders. People have cringed looking at it, but it really doesn’t feel that terrible. My concern now is how to get it to heal – wearing my pack all day long only keeps the problem going. Oy, if it’s not one odd thing it’s another on the trail!

I was too lazy to cook dinner tonight amidst the hovering mosquitos, so ate PB&J on a tortilla and extra snack food. Not the most filling dinner but town food beckons again ;). Tomorrow will be a Nero into Echo Lake, then to the house of a friend of Cat Burglar, who so nicely invited me along! I don’t care if I sleep on the floor or in my tent – it’ll be a great treat to be at someone’s actual home :). I originally didn’t plan to zero in SLT, but am going to take at least one to plan my flip which may be logistically challenging. Seeing the map today only reinforced the fact that doing less than 20 mile days isn’t going to get me to Canada in time. Plus, I want to hike out with Firestarter and Cat Burglar – their 2 month section hike is up in Sierra City and I’ve so enjoyed getting to know them, I don’t want to rush ahead since my trail time with them will be limited to the next section. An extra day off can only help with my health at this point – I really hope my full energy comes back soon regardless of whether or not I flip up to WA.

At the Carson Pass Visitor Center trail magic:

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The PCT shares the next 50 miles with the Tahoe Rim Trail!

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