Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 62, Echo Lake

Daily mileage: 20
Mile 1076.5-1096.5

Okay so let's start with a little bit of background. I'm pretty sure I first heard about the PCT as a 9 year old at summer camp. The city of Berkeley has a kids camp just down the street from Echo Lake and the PCT goes right next to it. In high school and college I spent my summers working there and I remember talking to thruhikers every summer. So to actually be getting to Echo is super significant and exciting for me. Halfway is just a few hundred miles away and today I get to walk down memory lane!

So have you ever slept in a windsock? Because I'm pretty sure that's what I did last night. I was never cold but the wind would whip into your sleeping bag filling it up like a balloon and then flap around like crazy. Definitely a strange night, but another great sunrise. Woke up and started walking quick, places to go and cold wind to avoid. Plus have you ever tried peeing in gusting wind, yeah that's an interesting experience.

So away we went, climbing up and finding ourselves facing some patches of snow. After watching cheese whiz slowly scrape across we found out it was actually a giant slab of ice. I took a nice long detour to avoid the first patch of snow but for some reason decided the second patch didn't look to bad. About 2/3 of the way across I slipped and after laying flat out on the ice for a few minutes I very very slowly made my way off. I can tell you I may be pretty used to my backpack but that thing felt like a lead weight as I made my way across that slab of terror. After that it was smooth sailing to the Carson Pass Ranger Station, a giant grin on my face the whole way. Because lets face it, I'm going to Echo and I love this area! It's surprisingly fun knowing where I am.

Now we just had to worry about getting to the chalet (the store) at the lake before the post office closed at 2. The plan was for caveman and TW to take off just to make sure our packages got picked up and our bear cans got mailed home. So glad to be getting rid of that plastic monstrosity (large cylindrical containers are just not comfy in backpacks). Cheese whiz and I meandered our way down the trail, loving our views of Tahoe and enjoying life. Made our way to berkeley camp, hoping we could yogi some food. Unfortunately we are just too early, turns out the kitchen is being redone and won't be ready until Thursday and there is no food, so on to the chalet we went. I'll admit it, we cheated and took a different route the last 1/4 mile for nostalgias sake. Plus the view is pretty sweet.

And then it was officially a town day, the best town day. Turns out even taking our sweet time we made 18 miles by 1 pm and we had packages and a store right in front of us. We sat on a picnic table and ate for hours.

Thank you so much Ed, one of my lovely house supervisors back at my old job sent me trail mix and peanut brittle. So delicious, I think the brittle lasted all of 30 seconds.

We all have our cravings out in the woods, and along with fruits and veggies mine was chocolate milk. So that's what I made, and wow was it delicious. Only I got so full I couldn't enjoy our dinner. Still, totally worth it.

There was such delicious fruit, nectarines for days and so much other happiness. Best town day, it's great being able to resupply and eat but not having any other errands to worry about. Finally dragged ourselves away at almost 8 at night, with Zeke in tow (another thruhiker we spent the afternoon with) we went a whole 2 miles before crashing on the trail. Have I mentioned I loved this day?

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