A day like any other day… Wake up early, hike all day, check for cell service, eat, filter water, go to bed. Well, it as a bit more exciting than that. I met perhaps eight thru hikers, and about that many day hikers. It’s the weekend near Reno, and folks are out in the woods.
I did get up pretty much on time, perhaps 5:15, and ate my breakfast in the tent. As I got outside and began breaking down the tent, the couple that I met yesterday (Gator and Nuthin) was leaving. I think this is the very first time I have ever seen anyone leave camp before me. Kudos to them.
I left about a half hour after them, right at 6 am. The trail here was wooded but then gave way to barren volcanic rock that makes you feel like you are hiking on Mars. Sometimes it can be small shards and clumps that are hard to walk on, and it’s definitely hotter since there is no moisture in the ground and usually no tree cover. I think I fell four times today, all in slippery gravel areas. Twice I banged my knee on a rock as I fell. I also managed to break the weak trekking pole right in half as the weakened joint totally failed. Looks like the REI trip to Reno is on.
Pretty early in the morning we hit a pass that had an excellent view. It also had Verizon service. I spent an hour and a half there answering texts and emails and half of the time was spent ordering a new battery pack and having it shipped to an outfitter in Lake Tahoe. That will help alot. I kept my phone in the solar charger the rest of the day because the hour plus phone fest got me down to 43% battery remaining, which is too low to be coming into a town like Lake Tahoe. Because my phone was packed, I did not take as many pictures today.
The terrain seemed to change every thirty minutes to an hour. It would be like Mars one minute, then cross a stream and be on a different mountain that was lush and green and riddled with mosquitoes. Then the next bend, back to Mars again. Where I decided to camp at about 7:30 is heavily forested in pines but also has a lot of mosquitoes and a stream next to it.
I met two couples weekend hiking when I went down to get water. We talked a good while and when it was time to cook dinner, I went down to their campsite and cooked and ate by their fire. They have been coming here every summer for the last five years. It’s a nice spot.
I am now a hair over thirty miles from the road to hitch to South Lake Tahoe. It’s too far to make tomorrow and my battery pack will not be delivered until Sunday, so I’ll go 20-23 miles tomorrow and leave 5-10 miles to go into town for Sunday. There is a Chinese buffet in town which I plan to hit first, then get the bus to Reno and get things settled with REI. Depending on how long that takes will determine if I come back to Tahoe for the evening or stay in Reno. Either way I have to hit the outfitter and grocery in Tahoe before heading out of town on Monday. There is an enterprise car rental in town but it’s $55 a day for a subcompact which is more than the $22 bus fare to Reno and back. I hope the buses are running on Sunday.