Day 76: mile 1060.4 to mile 1081.9
6.30.18. 21.5 miles.
Waking up today was hard. Partly due to the Benadryl, and party bc I knew no one was waiting for me to get up and get going. Somehow, I managed to get hiking by 6 am like usual though.
The miles this morning weren’t too tough, but the first climb of the day was a little rough. I had service on the way up though, so I kept stopping to check things & communicate with Mom. Eventually when I got to the top of the climb, I still had service and decided to take a morning break and eat a snack, since I had already done 8ish miles.
I was trying to make it to the Carson Pass Information Center for lunch since I figured they would have picnic tables and a pit toilet, so I hustled down the mountain and still had one longer climb ahead of me. So I put on the tunes and listened to an episode of BachelorPod (don’t judge) to get me through the rest of the morning. The views were pretty nice and the ascent actually wasn’t too hard. There was a huge snowfield at the top of the climb though and the snow was pretty slippery and it was a little sketch bc you’d slide a long ways down if you slipped. Once I was past that though, it was all downhill to Carson Pass.
I passed SO MANY day hikers going in the opposite direction. Then I realized it was a Saturday before a holiday. Most were nice as I made my way down, some completely ignored my happy “Hellos”. I had gotten word from a “flipper” earlier that there was trail magic at the info center, so I was super peppy going down.
Once I reached the trailhead and got to the info center I was immediately asked by the volunteers if I wanted coke/ fruit/ homemade cinnamon rolls. YES was my answer to all of it. The volunteers are SO nice. Not only are they volunteering their time to give information out to tourists and hikers, but they also use their own time to bring trail magic to PCT hikers! They are truly angels and really love the wilderness around here.
I hung out for about 2 hours just chilling and eating. I talked to a hiker named Popcorn for a while, and also a few day hikers who had questions about the PCT. They’re pretty cute when they are super amazed at how far we’ve walked.
After enjoying the magic and shade, I decided to head off. It was only 3 and I only had 5 miles to go to my planned campsite, but I figured it would be nice to get there earlier. The hike was super beautiful to Showers Lake, I even got a view of Lake Tahoe on the way! The campsite I originally wanted above the lake was already taken, so I kept going down to the lake. There were so. many. people. And then I realized for a second time that it was a holiday Saturday and this lake is only 5 miles from the road, so, tons of people. I managed to find a spot further up from the water above the trail, set up, ate dinner, and brushed my teeth. In the middle of teeth brushing, I turned around and saw a red shirt... it was Hot Mess! “NO WAY” I shouted out! 1. I couldn’t believe he was there/ hiked this far today 2. I couldn’t believe he just wandered over to where I happened to be camped even though it was hidden from the trail. He was shocked as well. We joked that we’d probably see each other at lunch today, but we actually did end up seeing each other! I walked down to the trail, toothbrush in hand, to surprise Butters as she walked in, and we reunited 24 hours later with hugs. I watched them eat dinner and we talked about our days, and a huge group of people walked by from a ways away. The leader of the group talked with us- he is a volunteer with the Tahoe Rim Trail Association and was bringing first time backpackers out on a “Backpacking 101” class. He told us about an awesome view of Lake Tahoe, so after Hot Mess & Butters finished dinner, we went over there and watched the sun set over the lake. What a great night to reunite! We actually will be parting ways tomorrow though, as they will be going into South Lake Tahoe and I am bypassing it, but we will hike together in the morning until their hitching spot!