PCT mm 1095.5 – Tahoe yes, Reno no


Echo lake is a no camping zone for good reason. A wonderful wrap-up to a full day in South Lake Tahoe.

A bit of a disappointing day today but all but one important chore were successfully completed.  I was able to get into Tahoe about 9 am after about twenty minutes hitching a ride, I was able to do laundry but no shower, I demolished the Chinese buffet, was able to get my replacement battery pack and charge it up about half way and the phone nearly all the way.

The big miss was REI in Reno.  The busses were screwy enough that I would not have been able to get to Reno until Monday.  And renting a car was not an option because Enterprise is not open until Monday.  A minor miss was getting replacement shoes at the Big 5 in town.  My shoes should be able to get another 100 miles on them and I think I can order a pair and have them delivered to Sierra City.  There’s no guarantee this one would have the same model and they would still be on sale.

Errands took longer than I expected because the town is pretty big and the bus service is not very frequent or have stops everywhere you want to go.  But the buses are free in July so that was a plus.  Everything I did took longer than expected, even eating.  The buffet was quite good.  It was the highlight of the day.

When it was time to leave (after the outfitter closed and we had to vacate their hiker lounge) I perched myself on the side of the road that let to the trail.  I was right in front of the grocery store and their was plenty of traffic, but no one was even remotely interested in picking up hikers.  I saw a couple of hikers trying to hitch in almost the same spot for close to two hours with no success.  I gave it thirty minutes then decided to try Uber.  It would be about $25 via Uber.  When I walked away from the road to the storefronts, I saw two other hikers so I went to ask them if they were hitching out of town and wanted to split the Uber.  They had been able to get a hold of one of the angels in town to get a ride.  Five minutes later, a big white van showed up and swooshed us up to the trail head ten miles away.  The trail provides.

The lodge at Echo lake was already closed, but I wanted nothing more than to get to the other side of the lake into the Wilderness area to make camp.

It was only a mile to Echo lake which has a bunch of rental chalets all over the perimeter.  You have to get to your chalet by boat.  They looked like a neat place to spend a few days to relax.  As soon as i reached the lake, the sun was in my face and I realized I did not have my sunglasses.  Great, not this again.  I took a quick break on the last switchback down to the lake, so I dropped my pack at the store and ran back to get them.  Luckily they were exactly where I expected them to be.

Hiking into the fading sun with great views of the lake the entire way to the end of the lake.

These private chalets all around the lake are privately owned by families for generations.

The trail around the lake is a no camping zone.  You have to go three miles to the wilderness area to camp.  With all the delays, I didn’t start off from the lake until 7:30 so it would be 8:30 or later before I got far enough.  Time to hoof it, but my right calf was bugging me a little bit, so I couldn’t push it.  On top of that, another headache was brewing.  I had one beer from Mammoth Lakes Brewery (which in Mammoth Lakes gave me a headache – time to avoid that brewery) but also wonder if the Chinese food might have had MSG in it.  I’m betting on the beer.  General Tsao would not forsake me that way, would he?

I was able to get to the wilderness right at 8:30 and found a good spot just a tenth after the boundary.  I was able to set up camp in the light and had good moonlight to eat by.  I didn’t bother to cook since I was still full from lunch so I ate a whole wheat roll with butter.  Yes, I am packing real butter on this stint.  Powdered milk, too.  The pack feels like 100 lbs even though I only have four days of food.  Off to bed to get an early start tomorrow.  I’m going to see if I can inch up to 30 miles a day well before I get to Oregon so I can get a bit ahead of schedule.

1 Comment

  1. Maybe the beer is contributing to some dehydration and a resulting headache? Enjoying the pictures though.

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