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74 — Desolation Wilderness

74 — Desolation Wilderness

Strider Jul 18th, 2022
Strider's 2021 PCT Thru-Hike

Mile 1092.3–1101.6 (9.3 miles)

Rose: we got back on trail Thorn: it was such a mental struggle to get out Bud: we’re back on trail, our heads are getting back in the game for hiking tomorrow

The struggle was real this morning. First, because we stayed up drinking until 12:30 and the 4th woman in our bunk room decided to loudly, drunkenly climb into the top bunk at 3am, we slept in later than we had agreed. I woke up at 5:30, because my window had the dawn light directly on it, but I tossed and turned struggling to fall back asleep—instead, mostly just scrolling the internet on my phone.

When we got up around 7ish, we moved our food to the common room to organize our resupplies and make a box of food to send ahead to Sierra City. As always, there was so much garbage from all the packaging. We were in and out of the common room for the rest of the morning.

I ran into GNOME/Mitch in the common room. He’s back on trail after visiting his girlfriend. He’s scary skinny from losing so much weight. He complimented me, told me I looked good. We chatted about trail before it was time for us to leave.

Leaving was an effort of will. The comforts of town call. I miss summer activities like farmer markets, bbqs with friends, even golfing. It’s disheartening realizing you won’t get to do anything else this summer except hike. Even though you’re doing this amazing, bucket list, I-wouldn’t-want-to-be-doing-anything-else thing, it’s hard to come to terms with giving up an entire summer. We’re all feeling these mid hike blues—me, GNOME, Magic Beans, etc. I think it’s especially bad for those of us who visited family and were reminded of the love that were missing.

But after much whining and encouragement, we left the hostel in the heat of the day to catch the bus to the post office. We got on the wrong bus. Instead of a 20–30 minute ride, it was an hour long ride. We realized our mistake after the bus had been zigzagging in the residential neighborhoods for 20 minutes. We finally got to the big intersection, mailed my resupply box to Sierra City, and proceeded to the corner to hitchhike back to trail. We crossed the street, checked Google, realized we had chosen the wrong direction of traffic, and had to cross the big intersection again. We’re hopeless. We’re never getting to Canada.

Milkshakes in hand from the gas station, we only had to stick out our thumbs for 5–10 minutes before a minivan of vacationers gave us a ride to Echo Lake. Two of the four had been coming to Tahoe every summer for decades, so they knew about the PCT, Echo Lake Lodge, last year’s fires, etc. They wanted a picture with us before they left.

We made final adjustments and then got on trail. It was already 2 PM. Neither of us had eaten lunch yet, so after an hour we broke for lunch. The walk is beautiful: lakes and lakes. More than one an hour. The walk is a little harder: we’ve come back to some granite. My poor new shoes. I can almost feel the rubber being worn off like an eraser on paper.

We limped along Echo Lake then to Aloha Lake, Henry Lake, and finally to our destination for the night Susie Lake where we joined four men and two women in their camp, because the lake was very crowded for the night. After introductions we founded out the four dudes: one California Highway Patrolman and three teachers. Beans is only 18 (!), so that put a stop to drinking the beers we had packed out and were cooling in the outlet river. After dinner (tortilla soup) and a couple rounds of Bullshit card game with the group, we made excuses about needing water from the river and downed our beers while giggling. Afterall, we needed the empty cans to fit into our Bear canisters. We couldn’t leave the beers full.

We also had run out of room in our Bear canisters so we snuck in food into the two women’s spacious cannisters, left a note, and to bed.

At camp: Beans, me 6 Trters

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