​Day 78: mile 1098.4 to mile 1125.7

7.2.18. 27.3 miles.

Wow, another record-breaking day! Today started off relatively uneventful except for an emergency poo that got me out of my tent at 4:30 am. I figured I may as well start getting ready for the day since I don’t have a set start time anymore without Hot Mess & Butters, so I slowly got ready, taking time to admire the sun rising on the mountains above Lake Aloha.

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The first few miles of the day were pretty easy (except for the annoying rockiness) and mostly downhill, and then the climb to Dick’s Pass started. The climb actually wasn’t too bad. I stopped by the Gilmore Lake junction to look for a note my REI team left me but just found a piece of yellow notepad paper that may have had writing on it at some point? I’ll have to ask them. Either way, I packed it out. Once I got on the ridge I got phone service and sent Taylor, a friend from high school, some info about where I’d be today since she really wanted to do trail magic! I didn’t really know for sure, and of course I did some math wrong, and I didn’t have service for long, as it went away after the top of the pass, so didn’t hear back from her in that time frame. Something that did happen though was I saw a coyote while I was peeing! And of course I left my phone & camera in my backpack, so I couldn’t document it.

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The descent was super easy down Dick’s and very beautiful as well. Actually, the whole rest of the morning and into the afternoon was fairly easy. The trail was a normal, dirt trail for the most part, which makes walking easier. I also ran into the section hikers I met yesterday at a water filtering break and it was nice to talk with them again! I took a quick lunch break, just long enough to eat bc the mosquitos were descending. I could have picked a better spot, but I had already gone 14.5 miles and I was hungry.

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The whole day I was checking my phone to see if I had service/ see if Taylor was going to do Trail magic near a lake I thought might be accessible to her. I was able to get a text out, but I lost service almost immediately. I pretty much gave up on seeing her, but I noticed that if I made it to Barker Pass, I’d have phone service and maybe be able to contact her! After a little more up & down and a lot more miles, I reached the dirt road at 6:30, having done 26.5 miles. I called her immediately and she was so happy! She informed me she had a cooler of goodies ready all day. I felt bad, wishing I had phone service earlier. I asked if she would come get me & bring me to her house which she happily agreed to. One problem, which was discovered around 8 pm, after her and her dad were given incorrect information from police and road people was that cars were not able to access the road I was waiting at, and they could not come to get me. It was a very sad revelation for all of us. I had gotten my hopes up a little too high for a shower.

I ended up hiking on for just a little longer past the trailhead and am now cowboy camped on a ridge with the most gorgeous view of Lake Tahoe, and it was such a nice sunset too, which I caught the ending of.

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I’m bummed I couldn’t meet up with Taylor, but she informed me on the phone she’s already looking at maps for roads that intersect the PCT for my hike tomorrow so she could at least bring me a snack. On the bright side, I’m making a big push into Donner Pass tomorrow, another 27+ mile day to get to my lakehouse & family earlier, which means I’ll probably take 3 full zero days! Hopefully I don’t die tomorrow, lol. I took some ibuprofen tonight to recoup from today/ prep for tomorrow. All I need to do is make it to the trailhead before 8:30 pm, bc I really want ice cream from a shop at Donner Lake that closes at 9. Wish me luck!