Day 77: mile 1081.9 to Echo Lake to mile 1098.4
7.1.18. 16.5 miles.
I woke up and got ready super fast today bc I had to go poop sooo bad when I woke up.
Nothing super exciting happened in the morning. We had a nice sunrise that glowed on the mountains by Showers Lake, some ups and downs, and then a steep uphill and a very long, steep descent down to highway 50. I led the way in the morning with Butters & Hot Mess behind. We chatted for a good deal of the way, we knew this time would be a real goodbye, as we don’t know when exactly we’ll see each other again.
It was sad watching them get their ride (who was a super cool trail angel named Grateful Dad with an awesome painted van. Apparently his daughter is hiking this year and he’s really into the trail angeling). We hiked 8ish miles to the road and I still had another 2 to go to get to the Echo Lake chalet, including a smaller uphill.
It took me forever to go those 2 miles bc I had to get water from a stream since they don’t fill water bottles at the chalet and the lake water is filled with boat exhaust and there’s no other water sources until Lake Aloha, and I also had service. I finally got to the chalet around 10:30, and sat around with a bunch of backpackers who were beginning their trips: PCT section hikers, weekenders, etc. I talked to one group for a while before they left. Then, I needed to get my act together and figure out how much food I needed to get to Donner Pass. The options were not that great, and kind of expensive, but I was able to scrape a resupply together. I also got a delicious sandwich and milkshake, which I highly recommend getting. I went back outside and ate all my goodies and chatted with some more PCTers and other hikers. I also had service so I scheduled blogs, talked with my mom on the phone, downloaded all the of the guthook’s maps/ pictures for NorCal, and did some online things. I ended up staying there until about 2:30pm. I was feeling incredibly full after all my food and really couldn’t bear the thought of moving after that.
I debated going further than Lake Aloha while I was resting, but shortly into the hike I realized I wasn’t going any further. The uphill wasn’t too hard, but the trail was just so rocky and it was SO hot I could feel the sun on me and the rocks reflecting the heat back onto me. I was tripping so much on all the rocks, I just wanted to be done with the day. It took me almost 3 hours to do 6.5 miles, so I was going pretty slow. Also, the returning day hikers were all incredibly annoying since none of them seemed to know proper trail etiquette, like yielding to uphill hikers. I was stopping so often bc no one would stop for me, which made getting into a hiking rhythm difficult.
I was super happy when I got to Lake Aloha since I have been wanting to camp here for a while, and because it is just so beautiful! I soaked my feet in the lake, filtered water, made dinner, and rested in my tent the whole evening.
I didn’t completely rest, I did sort of roughly plan out all of my Northern California resupply based on Guthook’s. I’ll re-read Yogi’s book for that part when I get to Truckee and see if I want to change anything.
I’m glad I had a shorter day today. I feel like I kind of needed it since I haven’t had a sub-18 mile day (or any rest days) since my zeros in Mammoth, over 1 week ago. I’m looking forward to getting to my lakehouse and having some good rest. And actual rest too, like laying on a pool floaty in the lake and then watching Netflix and not moving.