Day 102: 7/19/14, PCT Mile 1103.8

Miles hiked: 9.3
Camped at: Susie Lake with Firestarter, Cat Burglar, and several weekenders

Did I say I liked Sean’s cat? Well, I don’t think she liked me overly much.
I was the first one awake, though Firestarter is never far behind, and her majesty thought we ought to feed her. Immediately. While we knew where Sean kept the food I’d no idea how much to give her. So, she had to wait a bit. An hour or so later in what I think was deliberate retaliation, she swiped at my leg and gave me a little wound, little bugger.

Needless to say, we had a somewhat leisurely morning as we planned for our mileage to be low today to set up the rest of the week. Cat Burglar’s friend who is so nicely giving me a ride as well, is coming up on Friday to Sierra City, so we want to hike in that day. Provided we do at least 15.5 miles per day the rest of the section, which should be easily doable, we’re golden. Before going on a kayaking adventure of his own, Sean was awesome yet again and dropped us off at 10am. After quickly consuming an ice cream bar (yes, at 10am, c’mon, it was Ben and Jerry’s, I couldn’t pass that up!!) and hanging out a bit chatting with other hikers at Echo Lake Resort store, we got on our way before 11 and soon entered the Desolation Wilderness area. Despite the dramatic name, there were people all over the place, this being the weekend and Tahoe so close. The hike along Echo Lake for the first few miles was lovely and mostly flat, though it got more and more rocky and exposed as we went on. We knew coming into this area that these conditions would be present, and that the scenery would be lovely, which it certainly was. Mr Gimpy 3.0 (umbrella) got the usual states and questions. With my brightly patterned summer skirt, I’m now really noticeable!

The 1200 foot climb up to Aloha Lake seemed to go by in a flash, despite the hot sun beating down, and then the now regular afternoon storm clouds began to build. As thunder began to rumble ominously, and loudly, directly overhead, we took shelter for about half an hour, nervous about lightening in such an exposed area. Another few miles still had us in camp well before 4pm. Ahhh, I feel like a weekender again, if only for 1 day! Well, except I have lots and lots of food with me.

This morning before we left town I booked my Amtrak ticket to get up to Portland next weekend, I’m so excited about the next stage of my PCT thru hike! I’m glad I have this to look forward to, as I think I’d otherwise be pretty bummed after saying goodbye to Cat Burglar and Firestarter. I’ll still be bummed, as I’ll miss them a lot, but it’ll be nice to get up to the Pacific Northwest for a change of pace.

Storm moving in!

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Echo Lake

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Nope, we didn’t take the water taxi!

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Aloha Lake

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