- Date: Sunday June 14, 2015
- Miles hiked: 21.10 PCT miles
- Miles covered: 1060.87 to 1081.97 PCT
- Weather Report: Low 44, High 79. Sunny and warm and dry, with clear blue skies. Most of the day was hiking in the low to mid 70s
- Wildlife seen: deer, chipmunks
- Mood of the day: Cheerful and happy, again
I woke up at 4:30am and stared up at the Milky Way (no moon!) and the thin band of orange on the horizon signaling the start of another warm and sunny day. We got up and out on the trail, no hurry, right about 7:30am.
The trail dipped down from our SkyLoft perch into a buggy patchy granitic landscape full of creeks and ponds, and after two miles we came upon a sign: "Trail Magic, 300 steps" Hm, should we do it? Just say Yes! We walked into a camp, with a couple of tables spread out with food, a few coolers of drinks, and two great welcoming hosts, Diane and Brian.
They'd come up from Sonora and laid out this feast for us thru-hikers, and there were already six other hikers chowing down and chatting... we dug in, enjoying ourselves and the hospitality and company immensely, and spent well over an hour there--a great time, thank you Diane and Brian.
After our bellies were full, we headed up the PCT yet again, through more rolling terrain, until the trail went up the side of The Nipple, a big huge basaltic mound, with great views over the Blue Lake basin. We stopped for a break at the peak of the trail, then I continued on my own.
That section of today's trail, along Forestdale ridge, was fantastic, filled with flowers and views and yet more flowers and views. It looked harder on the maps (go figure, that doesn't happen often!), the trail was well graded without much steepness, and I made good time to Carson Pass, arriving around 4pm.
And there at the little visitor center was yet more trail magic, courtesy of the volunteers who staff the little info center and gift shop! I enjoyed a Coke and a Dr Pepper, some cookies, and a banana, then bought a wildflower pamphlet, and left $10 in the donation box. More of the same hikers showed up, and we all sat around and chatted and just enjoyed the afternoon. It was the first time I felt like I was in a little PCT hiker bubble--I knew that I'd be likely seeing the same people for weeks. Some of them I'd actually met 200 miles ago on Muir Pass, others were new faces, it was all good and there were warm fuzzies all around.
From Carson Pass it was 5 easy miles to Showers Lake, up and over a little divide, then through scenic Meiss valley, flat and fast, with a little bump-up to Showers Lake.
I'd wanted to camp at a scenic overlook that I read about somewhere, where you can look down to Lake Tahoe, and found the spot--surprisingly, it wasn't occupied, though there were a good forty other people around the lake camping, the most I've seen on the trail.
Tomorrow is a half day: walk to Echo Lake, then stay with my good buddy Dave for the night and regroup and replan for the next sections of the trail! After the last four wonderful days, I actually am wanting to get back on the trail and enjoy the scenery and weather, and the people I'm now meeting here on the PCT. Good times.