Day 74 (Continued)
Despite us not getting back to the track until late afternoon it was still pretty warm. We walked a bit and then Cashmere saw a sign of her middle name. A photo was required.
We continued walking until we reached Echo Lake resort. We each got an ice- cream (it’s hard to resist such opportunities when they arise on-trail) and we continued walking. Echo Lake was really nice. We eventually reached Lake Aloha as dusk was approaching. It was stunning so we had dinner by it, walked a bit more and then set up a scenic campsite near the lake.
In the morning we continued our hike through desolation valley and shortly after leaving camp we hit the 1100 mile point.
After passing several gorgeous lakes we climbed Dicks Pass where we saw expansive views north and even a duck-shaped patch of snow.
We decided it was a beautiful spot for some food so sat in the shade and enjoyed our large snack portfolio. We also took dumb photos with the Dick’s Pass sign because we are that immature.
Then we descended down to a gorgeous lake and considered lunch and a swim but it seemed too early so we decided to see what lay ahead. Sadly there weren’t any more lakes in the next few hours that met our high swimming standards so we just had lunch somewhere boring (can’t even remember it!)
However, those of you who know Cashmere well will know it is hard to get things out of her head once they get in, so we walked and walked until we found a suitable lake for a dinner swim. Despite the copious quantities of pollen it was a great swim with very warm water and we felt that us and our clothes were pretty clean after. Then we had dinner next to the lake and some very nice mossy trees.
Next, as per usual, we walked a bit more and set up camp. In fact we walked just far enough to find our friends the Tits and camped next door. The mosquitoes there were a bit of a downer but the company was good and the nearby creek was delicious.
We seemed to have slept in a bit late because when we emerged from the tent the Tits were packed up and gone.
As we got ready to depart some older hikers walking south said hello and then basically immediately invited us to go stay at their house in Vancouver! They gave us their number, told us where the key is, and also mentioned that they’d left some snacks up the track a few miles at the road for us. The PCT really has improved my outlook on humanity!
Indeed when we got up to the pass there was a bucket of trail magic with fresh fruit(!), cream cheese and milk. We helped ourselves to a few oranges and then broke out some cracker crumbs and ate them with spoonfuls of cream cheese. God is good.
When we finally continued hiking Cashmere walked with another hiker who’d been enjoying the trail magic too ‘Fainting Goat’. She earned that name by getting a little too antsy for the McDonald’s at Cajon Pass, pushing too hard in the heat, and then fainting in the McDonald’s. Hikers.
Anyway Cashmere scurried along behind Fainting Goat, a veterinarian. We get very excited by new people; because we spend so much time together just the two of us at the moment, we often run out of conversation topics. When we are with new people the miles cruise by fast. Though, that might also be related to the fact that everyone walks faster than us: with Fainting Goat (as well as most hikers that Cashmere latches onto) Cashmere scurried to keep up and got well-ahead of Physio who prefers a slow and steady pace regardless of the conversation potential.
Eventually Cashmere stopped up on a ridge with a view of Lake Tahoe and waited for Physio so that they could eat more snacks. Yum. Then we continued along the ridge which was spectacular and on the backside of some ski fields. Physio started craving some skiing but the time just wasn’t right (ya know, summer). Eventually we dropped down to a creek where we saw the Tits and had lunch. Cashmere may have fallen asleep again for a few minutes.
After lunch we started climbing up and again and it was feeling HOT. We got very involved with dipping our heads in a creek we found. We then climbed some more and passed under some ski lifts. Yay!
Then we randomly got real into cooking dinner by a small spring and going to extreme lengths to collect the water from the spring (digging a deep hole, waiting for the dirt to settle etc) and pretending we were in the desert again even though there was lots of water around. It was weird.
We carried on walking after dinner and the sunset was sooo gorgeous it was hard to keep moving. We just wanted to stop and stare. As the light faded we found the Tits camping and set up shop again next door.
The next day we simply had to walk out to Donner Pass Road where we would hitch to Truckee. The hike out was around 12 miles, and followed viewful ridges and passed millions of day hikers! It was a weekend and you would not believe how many people were out on the track. There was also a huge team of amazing PCTA volunteers out fixing up the track. We were so inspired to see people spending their free time in such a selfless way. A well-maintained track is easier for us tobwalk on too. Maybe one day we will be so kind.
Once we got out to Donner Pass Road we had to wait in a hitching queue behind other hiker trash. Eventually it was our turn and we began to think the continuous stream of cyclists up to the pass were a deterrent to our would be rides. Any driver willing to consider picking us up had to worry about cutting off, hitting, or getting stuck behind a cyclist.
As it turned out a cyclist named Ted stopped and began chatting with us. It started with the all too familiar “Are you hiking the PCT?” It ended with Ted not only offering to return and pick us up from the pass if we hadn’t been picked up by the time he got to his car, but also inviting us to his house if we wanted to take a shower. Wow…okay so maybe the cyclists aren’t such a problem.
Luckily we didn’t need to take up Ted on his offer to return and pick us up because we soon got picked up by a lovely couple. The couple were keen hikers, mountain bikers, and skiers. Naturally we hit it off immediately, and instead of dropping us off at a lake part way to town, they took us all the way to town. How lucky are we?
Once in Truckee we met up with the Tits for a farewell meal. Sadly for us the Tits would be staying in Truckee for a couple of days and we would not see them before leaving the trail at Sierra City for a wedding.
To warm up for lunch at an Italian restaurant the four of us ate ice cream at Dairy Queen. The pizza and pasta that followed were predictably delicious and the Tits were as lovely as ever.
After lunch we did most of our resupply at a natural food store, and then headed to a Safeway supermarket for a few remaining groceries. The Tits- farewell continued, as the four of us sat outside a Safeway enjoying free WiFi and strawberries we rescued from a rubbish bin. We also ate a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, to help us metabolise the pizza of course, and packed up our food for the hike to Sierra City.
All too soon we had to actually bid farewell to the Tits and make our way back out to the road to start hitching. I’ll leave the hitch from Truckee and hike to Sierra City for the next blog.
Thank you for reading 🙂