Lake Tahoe at mile 1094 to mile 1097
It took awhile, but we finally managed a ride out of town in a Vanagon hippie bus-it was totally awesome. He did drop us off right at the one mile to the road crossing sign that had the two liter bottle of soda at it the day before. It was gone now.
The old mile of trail went by quickly (we cheered the Pony Express again). It was past 6:30 when we got to new trail. It was pretty clear that we were not in the Sierra's anymore-there were roads and houses within sight of the trail. It felt like the AT in New England.
We arrived at Echo Lake around Golden Hour and thought it would be a great place for dinner. We asked an employee if there was water somewhere (somewhere beside the lake with all its boat) and she said no. Neither Opus or I had enough water to cook dinner. We settled for drinking our trail magic PBR's from the day before. My pack was way overstuffed (I may have gone a little overboard at the grocery store and may have had a plastic shopping bag of food hanging off my pack) so it was great getting the weight of a beer off my back.
We set off around the lake. There were beautiful cabins ringing the lake. Some had people were there enjoying a summer evening with campfires. The trail had entered a wilderness area which meant no campfires which I found to be highly unfair. I had a bag of marshmallows begging for a good campfire. Portrait tried to talk me into yogi-ing (the art of getting people-usually day hikers-to give you something-usually food-without actually asking for anything) a campfire from the cabin dwellers, but I was feeling a little trail magic'ed out.
We followed the trail halfway around Echo Lake and then left it behind for Upper Echo Lake which looked much more remote with granite cliffs on the far shore and much fewer cabins. We hadn't come across any water, but had to pass up a dozen great camping spots because we didn't have water. We didn't find water until after we lost the light of day.
Not more than ten minutes after getting our water we thought we found a nice little place to camp. Once we got down to the flat grassy area we realized it was neither flat or grassy, but we were calling it good anyway.