PCT Day 21: Almost There

Cold last night, I thought about pulling out the difficult-to-repack nanoblanket. But I saw the crack of dawn and waited, tossing and turning to try and get warm. So glad to see the sun.

Squarepants and I dawdled in camp until Fish Nugget arrived. She seemed to be in better spirits today, thank goodness.

The girls went on ahead. Lots of day hikers and horseback riders out today enjoying this beautiful, easy trail from the Truckee River headwaters to the Tahoe Basin.

I stopped at Showers Lake for lunch and hung out with Squarepants.

We saw dragonfly sex, two of them flying around us, connected in the air. I wondered how they stayed together like that, thinking I’d need to google it when I got back.

The stream we camped next to last night, flowing down to Tahoe.
The stream we camped next to last night, making its way down to Tahoe.
Cool, old Sierra homestead. A glorious view, I'd totally live there!
Cool, old Sierra homestead. A glorious view, I’d totally live there!
On the trail to Tahoe, another gorgeous day. I'm going to miss the High Sierra.
On the trail to Tahoe, another gorgeous day. I’m going to miss the High Sierra.

The second half of the trail was less interesting, mostly forested without a lot of variation. Still, I saw wildflowers everywhere, amazing!

Also amazing were the many uses of a single bandana. In my case, as a pee rag in middle, a snot rag on edges, and rinsed off, a neck cooling device, a sun shield, and a dinner napkin when dry. Like in permaculture, stacking functions.

More mountain meadow views, these never get old.
More mountain meadow views, these never get old.
Fields of purple Lupins, they were everywhere.
Fields of purple Lupins, they were everywhere.
So much green, July was the perfect time to be out on the PCT.
So much green, July was the perfect time to be out on the PCT.

We decided to do a shorter day, eight miles, camping three miles out from the Echo Summit trailhead where we would be meeting up with the Hubby for a Nero in South Lake Tahoe. I can’t even describe how excited I was to see him, take a shower, do laundry, sleep in a real bed, eat restaurant food and most of all, down some dark beer.

Our camp tonight had water, yay, one less niggly thing to worry about.

A popular hiker campsite, we were the third party to show up. A grizzled PCT-type had parked in the obvious spot right next to the trail, while a couple out for the weekend had taken the primo, private spot higher up in the rocks.

They were super nice, obviously happy to be out there. They had a lot of gear and let me try out their camp chairs, which I gotta say, were pretty cool. But at one pound ten ounces each, too much added weight for me to seriously consider for future trips.

Squarepants chilling at Showers Lake in front of another amazing view, as always.
Squarepants chilling at Showers Lake in front of another amazing view, as always.
Our first glimpse of Lake Tahoe... OMG, beer, shower, laundry, beds!
Our first glimpse of Lake Tahoe… OMG, beer, shower, laundry, beds!
One of many beautiful little babbling brooks.
One of many beautiful little babbling brooks I saw along the way.

After poking around down the hill, we found a nice, secluded spot at the very back in the forest, with a peek view of Lake Tahoe in the distance. And, actual cell service from T-mobile, a small miracle!

Finally, I could use my phone to make a call for the first time this whole trip.

Of course I called The Hubby. While I was on the phone with him, some weird guy covered in facial hair stopped in front of my tent and stood there, looking right at me inside as I talked. I looked straight back at him, until he moved on.

I don’t usually stare people down, but this was so odd—I mean, obviously, I was in my tent, on my phone, talking to someone, in my personal, private space.

I heard him talking to the girls for a bit next door. They thought he was a little weird, too. We were all glad there wasn’t any space for his tent anywhere nearby.

Boring trail between vistas, but grateful for the shade. It was getting hot.
Ho-hum trail between vistas, but grateful for the shade. It was getting hot.
Something pretty to look at between boring stretches of forest.
Something pretty to look at between boring stretches of forest.
So many lovely moments along this trail. They're what make the pain all worthwhile.
So many lovely moments along this trail, they’re what make the pain worthwhile.

Even after a short day, my feet were still tired. Though I didn’t have yesterday’s Coke inspired energy, I did feel like I could have gone farther. Way stiff after resting for a while, I wondered if maybe hiker legs just weren’t in the cards for me.

But dark beer tomorrow definitely would be.

30 Days on the PCT
Day 21: July 23, mile 1087
Almost there, South Lake Tahoe. See the airport?
Almost there, South Lake Tahoe, our view from the campsite. See the airport?
I leapfrogged this guy all day long. He was on a 17 mile day hike from Carson Pass to Echo Pass.
I leapfrogged this guy all day long. A South Lake Tahoe local, he was on a 17-mile day hike from Carson Pass to Echo Pass, meeting his wife for pickup. Even with a slight limp, he still kicked my ass!