Hiking with and seeing family
21.06.2012 - 28.06.2012
On Thursday night, about 2200 or so, Joe pulled up to the Black Jack Inn in South Lake Tahoe and I was there waiting him. It was amazing to see family come up and such a treat to see him! We stayed the night there and after a quick walk over to Nevada to check out the casinos, slept soundly for the night. The next morning we were off to Echo Lake for him to join me hiking for a couple days. This was such a wonderful treat! Until this point I had been hiking with new friends I made on the trail and had not seen family in such a long time. I was so happy to have my brother with me!!
Since I have been out so long and was looking forward to this time to hike with my brother, I let him lead the entire time. He set the pace and chose breaks and when we would stop for the day. This first morning out was just amazing. Echo Lake, Lake Aloha, and the Desolation wilderness were just great areas to share this trail with my brother. He hiked a good clip to start the day! It was very windy, but this kept the bugs away. It helped, however, when we would pass behind a bush a black cloud of mosquitos were fluttering around and it was disgusting. The wind may not have been too fun, but it was a blessing in disguise. Joe made about 10 miles by 1100. Then was the climb up Dicks Pass. Joe kept moving and we took a good break to call Mom. It was a lot of fun. We eventually made it over the pass and made our way back down, this being my last time above 9000 feet elevation. Later in the day, Joe had the choice opportunity to meet a PCT hiker great, Billy Goat. It was awesome to see him on trail! At the end of the day we had 18.5 miles under our belts. Joe did great. We made camp and it was so windy and cold. He made us a salmon and risotto dinner, then we made up a fire afterward to get a little warmth. It was a great night and we got to enjoy some Hot Cocoa. I loved it!!
The next day we woke up to cloud cover and more wind. It was a slow moving morning, but we got out on trail just after 0715. Joe had a sore ankle and sore hamstring, but pushed on. The wind made for not such a fun day, but we kept on moving. After lunch time and a quick slip into the stream by me, we stopped for lunch. Then by 1400 we had made it to Barker Pass, 14 miles for the day. The wind and cold made for not a very fun day, but Joe did a great job. We set up my tent and just napped until 1730. At one point prior to setting up camp, Joe said he was miserable. It was a tough day and the weather made no help to anything. I wish it could have been better weather, but we made 32 miles in two days. Joe did great! After our nap, we walked around just a little to find his way out for the morning. Then made dinner, and after dinner and a quick call from Dad, the wind had died down and we made another great fire. The end of this day was amazing and we both felt much better!!
In the morning, we split ways. Joe headed down the road back to the 89 to get back to his car. He ended up catching two buses for $1.75 to get the South Lake Tahoe. Then made a sign and got a hitch all the way back up to Echo Lake and his car! He made his car around 1115 in the morning. This was great! And by this point in the day, I had hiked 17 miles and found a great spot to take a break with cell service and a bit of sun light. It was the family party today, so I called home! Everyone was there, including Corley! My parents had invited her over for the party. I love that and love that she is becoming part of my family!! She will be one of us one day! I got a chance to talk with everyone there, except for Jacob and Alex, but was on the phone an hour and really enjoyed getting to hear from all my family! After this I was back out and moving quick again! I wanted to make Donner Pass, where I had heard there was a restaurant not far off trail. But I never found it. I still made the miles and stopped to make camp about 1/4 mile before Interstate 80 and the Donner Summit. I had hiked a 32 mile day to get there before 1900. It felt amazing!
The next day, Monday and having only 39 miles to make Sierra City by Wednesday morning, I took my time hiking and didn't push myself to make a quick pace. It finally was clearing up and I had a great day. I stopped to use the bathroom at the interstate rest area and hoped for a vending machine, but no luck. What rest stop these days doesn't have a vending machine???? I just wanted a candy bar so bad! I was bummed, but headed on. I made it to the Peter Grubb hut and rested there an hour with a couple guys from Tahoe. They gave me some coffee and cheesey bread. I grabbed some hot cocoa from the emergency supplies, and was off. It was still a very windy day, but I kept moving and made a great day. I hiked to a beautiful little gap at the end of the last climb before Sierra City, leaving 10.5 miles for the morning. I had hiked a 28.5 mile day, going at an easy pace. I feel like I am in such amazing shape! It is great.
In the morning I was out, and with about 90% of my hike downhill, I made great time to get to Highway 49 and hit the road at 0945. Just a short walk down the road and I was in Sierra City where my first stop was the general store to buy a half gallon of Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream. I ate about 3/4 of it then have searched for a place to stay. I didn't want to pay much tonight, since getting here now was not my original plan. At the Red Moose Inn they let hikers set up camp in their back yard for free! They let you shower and do laundry, for free! They have internet and phone, for free. I am going to leave a nice donation, the feeling of trail magic is coming back! It is amazing to feel such wonderful hospitality toward hikers again. It is a beautiful part of this trail that is definitely strongest felt in the southern portion of california in the desert, where 95% of all hikers make it through. Feeling it so far north now is wonderful.
Tomorrow morning, Corley and her family will arrive here via their Chevy! They are driving through the night and will get here and have set up two nights at the Yuba River Inn in a cabin for Les, Heidi, Corley, myself, Sonia, Dustin and Leah. It will be such a treat! On thursday June 28th, I am turning 23 years old and they are coming down for one to celebrate my birthday and for two so that Corley and I can get some time to spend together. It will be amazing to see her and her entire family. I love them all so much. My original plan was that obviously I would be on trail during my birthday and didn't worry about that at all. I figured I'd be out hiking alone and realized that I am just one person out of 7,000,000,000 currently alive on the planet. That really isn't significant at all, but such is the life of one person. But them driving down just to celebrate me makes me feel like I really mean something to some people and that makes me feel more happiness than I can remember feeling, and that is all thanks to Corley and her family. I cannot wait to see her, hold her, kiss her, and spend time with her entire family for the next couple days! What a trail and adventure I am on!!