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Mile 1143.9–1157.9 (with some skipping, 9.9 miles)
Rose: convertible ride, DQ Reese’s Blizzard, summer street fair vibes in Truckee Thorn: incredibly long lines at the Post Office Bud: back to Altras for the hike tomorrow
It was going to be a long morning. We had 13 miles to highway 80 where we would need to hitch into Truckee. In previous years you could hitch at highway 40 at Donner Ski Ranch, but there’s construction this year. I had resolved to get up early. I was up by 5:30. I was ready except for filtering water by 6:30. However, the water in the creek next to camp was super silty and it took an hour to filter two liters! Pots and Maverick made fun of us for waking up so early only to leave at the same time as them.
We hiked and hiked until we reached the lifts for Sugar Bowl and Donner Ski Ranch. I met up with Beans here. At the encouragement of a local, we thought to hitch from there into Truckee instead of go the extra 4 miles between highway 40 and 80. We set a time limit for our hitching and stuck out our thumbs outside the Donner Ski Ranch. The restaurant was offering free 40oz beers to PCT hikers. We elected to skip it to stay on schedule. Gibb and Hurdle had both warned us it was a trap and time suck.
Amazingly, the people that offered us a ride were in this beautiful sky blue convertible with cream colored leather. We were both a little hesitant to take the ride in case we were to damage or dirty the mint car, but they were nice and insistent that it wasn’t an inconvenience to go into Truckee. Beans’ pack fit in the trunk, but my pack went between the two of us in the back seat. It was very cramped in the backseat, but I tried to keep my dirty body from touching much of the interior. Still, my sunscreened legs leaned against the side to make room for the driver’s seat and left a smug of dirt and sunscreen. We could not keep the smiles off of our faces as we sprinted down the highway in a beautiful convertible. Definitely worth the guilt of skipping some miles. The couple dropped us off at a gear store in Truckee. When I stood up, my dirty shorts and bare thighs had left sweaty dirt on the cream seat. I hastily tried to wipe it off.
In Truckee, we went to two gear stores, swapped out my shoes (because the Topos aren’t working for my feet after 70 miles), bought more snacks at Safeway, enjoyed Blizzards at Dairy Queen, and walked to the post office where my 20* sleeping quilt was waiting to replace my 0*, and I was also sending back the bear canister I had borrowed from ChitChat. Unfortunately, the post office branch stated the main downtown branch is where the general delivery packages are kept. We ordered an Uber and went downtown. Our Uber driver must have been in his 80s. He had no business to be driving for Uber. He kept suggesting taking us to different destinations. We had to insist upon the PO.
The downtown PO took two hours. 40 minutes in line to retrieve my box, 10 minutes to swap out my quilts and food, another hour in line to send the bear canister, quilt, and shoe boxes. One desk worker and a line 14 people deep. By the end, we were starving. It was the weekly Truckee Thursday streetfair. We wandered by the booths, not letting ourselves be tempted to buy trinkets we’d have to carry in our packs. Everyone was very friendly, offering us food recommendations and ride while we waited at the PO or wandered the street fair.
We settled at a microbrewery for some dinner and device charging. The major of Truckee held down a table full of people next to us. Other tables came and talked to us about the trail. We stuck out like sore thumbs with our dirty packs and salt-stained sun shirts amongst the clean 30 something’s dressed up in casual summer dresses and floppy hats for the street fair. Beans and I made up narratives for the socializing groups around us. After we were done, we ubered to Safeway to meet up with Pots and Maverick. After some more food from Panada Express and about 20 minutes, we ordered the same Uber driver to take us to the Donner Pass Rest Area on I-80.
7:30/8pm, we met more hikers at the rest stop. They intended on staying the night behind the rest stop so they could keep charging their devices and use the bathrooms. Beans and I hiked on for only 0.3 miles. We figured we wouldn’t be able to escape the sounds of the freeway in the limited daylight left, so we camped within full hearing of the white noise of the freeway. I hope that we are far enough from the rest area so as not to attract the attention of crazy axe murderers.
At camp: Beans, me