Daily mileage: 25.5
Want to know the best way to shock yourself awake? Well I can teach you no problem. Wake up on a kind of chilly morning, start hiking and get pretty hungry. See the rest of your group on the other side of a stream getting ready for breakfast and go to join them. Now here is the tricky part, when you put your foot on that first rock make sure it is covered in grit so you slide and fall into the creek. And this is no simple foot dunking, oh no. We're talking full on soaking wet. To really add to the fun make sure you land on your knee and then your face and as you lie their like a turtle with your pack in the creek don't accept any help, because clearly that makes sense.
So yes welcome to my most graceful morning ever. I will say this is the only time on this trip I've fallen that hard and it seemed much worse than it was. Still, not really planning on repeating it. After breakfast I took things really slow favoring my bruised knee and my pride.
Made it to Barker Pass no worse for the wear and started to really enjoy my day.
Just like yesterday the miles really flowed and climbs came with no effort. Such a good hiking day. Last year I passed this junction where the Tahoe Rim Trail and the PCT split and promised that next time I saw that marker I would be on the PCT. Amazing :)
We cleared the trees and the trail actually let us walk the ridge line. Views of Tahoe, so good. This is super rare to actually be able to be on the crest, such a treat.
We took our time today, just sitting and enjoying the view. Even ran into Billy Goat, a pretty famous hiker in the small PCT world (he spends a crazy amount of time on the trail, and at keast 8000 trail miles).
As we were contouring the ridge we were noticing lots of signs and fences and we finally realized we were behind the ski resorts of North Lake Tahoe. First Alpine Meadows, then Squaw Valley. Silly but fun. Down the mountain we went, then another great siesta afternoon. Climbing through fields of Mule's Ears (a plant that is everywhere right now) and up and around we went. Even got to go right under the chairlifts. Such great views we even tacked on an extra half mile just for the view of the sunset. I love this trail.
Those are some of the many mules ear fields we saw.
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