Another beautiful day in paradise. I woke up at 5:30 and was out by 6:30 but another hiker beat me to the trail again today by five minutes. I’m losing my touch. But I was not in a hurry today, I was trying to make it a short day and end up five to ten miles from Tahoe and hit the mark perfectly at seven miles.
Today was pretty much like yesterday. A little Mars volcanic rock terrain, then a little forest, rinse and repeat. In the morning, one of the Mars mountains led us above a very large dammed lake. There were many boats on it and a group of paddle boarders. They looked like tiny ants. The mountain we were looking down at the lake from is called The Nipple on the topo maps. You can guess what it looked like.
Most of the time when I pass large patches of clean snow, I scrape of the surface layer and grab a handful to eat. Around noon, I passed one such patch and it was a little hot in that area so I decided to get out the Powerade powder and make Powerade snow cones. It took a while to get the amount of powder just right, but once I did, it was damn tasty. So tasty I made a second one. Now I want to hit a 7-11 and get a slurpee at the next opportunity.
We passed about a dozen lakes throughout the day. There were also several dirt and paved roads. Weekend hikers were all about, too. This is part of the Tahoe rim trail, so there are trails going all over the place, and being Saturday, many people to fill them. I must have seen close to a hundred hikers today. Only four were PCT hikers.
One of the roads in the afternoon went right past a national forest information center. The staff there were very nice and were giving out cokes and doughnuts to PCT hikers. The coke tasted most excellent. One of the other PCT hikers left there at the same time as me and we hiked together for three hours or so talking about beer and hiking. He was not planning on stopping in Tahoe, so he went on when I stopped to get water for camping. I will probably see him again in a few weeks.
One of the things we talked about was something called the Oregon challenge. Oregon is close to 500 miles long and to hike it in less than two weeks is considered pretty challenging. It comes to 34 miles per day for 14 days. I was hoping to do 30 per day so 34 does not sound like too much of a stretch. What it does mean is not spending much time in Bend if any at all. It does sound like a way to ensure I have enough time to come back in September and finish early in October. I still have 500 more miles of California to tackle before Oregon, so first things first. It’s just amazing how large California is. By the time I get out of this stage, it would be like hiking from Georgia to Vermont on the Appalachian Trail.
Being only seven miles from Tahoe tonight I should be able to get into town by 9 am. I know the outfitter will be open, but I imagine my package will not be delivered until late afternoon, so I will probably try to get straight to Reno as quickly as possible to get the REI visit taken care of, then head back to Tahoe before it gets too late to get anything done. I will probably stay at the hostel in Tahoe if I can get back from Reno early enough. There is also a Chinese buffet in Tahoe. I hope they are open on Sundays because I plan on destroying that buffet. Love me tender, General Tsao.