Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 69-Out Hiked by a 66 Year Old

Richardson Lake at mile 1120 to mile 1143

Apparently the girls were still awake and shrieking at midnight according to Opus and Portrait, but I didn't hear anything after being in my bag for ten minutes. At least one of us was well rested.

I had cowboy camped with no bug issues, but as soon as I was out of my bag they were all over me. I hate putting on deet at anytime in the day, but it's really depressing to do first thing in the morning. It sets a bad tone. But it makes snack break five miles later much nicer. From Tahoe I packed out a little tub of chocolate cream cheese to smear on bagels and it might just be my new favorite second breakfast.

A couple miles later we came to a small road crossing where we met Nancy-a 66 year ole women out for a hike. She was wearing this pretty awesome straw hat decorated with butterflies and birds. She apologised profusely for not having any food to give us and we told her we were well feed and not to worry about us. She talked about how she wish she'd done the PCT when she was younger, but she was too old now with a bad knee.

Nancy left us in her dust on the way up to Baker's Pass. Granted we did stop for water and a snack and to talk to a father out with his daughter (not from the same group as the night before). Nancy was moving and we decided when we saw her again to tell her she could do the PCT if she wanted.

Portrait looking out over Lake Tahoe
We didn't see her again. We took a .1 side trail to a view for another snack break. We sat on some rocks and looked down on Lake Tahoe. I ate a Swiss Roll with a spoon for my snack. We were passed by two thru-hikers while we sat there, but we didn't know who from such a distance.

We went the rest of the way up Baker's Pass with still no sign of Nancy and her hat. I wanted to try yogi-ing a butterfly from her hat for my hat. She wasn't at the top of the pass, but we caught up with the other thru-hikers (two guys I hadn't met before) and two other day hikers. The thru-hikers moved on while we stopped for lunch with the day hikers.

We stayed on the pass for a long time. I'm ahead of schedule so while I try to do at least 20 miles a day I'm okay with not doing more. And besides, it was almost all down hill after lunch (which lasted until 3 p.m.).  It was a lot of down to a small creek that I was very happy to see when I got there. I still had water, but not much, and fresh cold creek water was better. And it was snack time again.

I had a rather large snack, and good thing too, because the last climb of the day was a long one. For some reason, despite knowing camp was on the far side of a ski mountain, I didn't think there would be so much climbing. It probably wasn't that much climbing but I was running on multiple short nights of sleep and I was feeling it.

It was a relief to start on the downhill stretch. The ski area took up a couple ridges and it looked like there was an amazing view of Lake Tahoe from the chair lifts. I'd like to see that view in winter sometime.

Portrait walked right past camp somehow (I think he was looking at his iPhone that was counting down how far to camp).  It had just enough room for our three tents. My spot was wonderfully flat and free of rocks, but it did have a small dirty patch of snow next to it. It also had great phone service so the three of us ignored each other for technology a little bit.

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