Pacific Crest Trail Journals

South Lake Tahoe to Donner Pass

July 13 – July 15, 2010

From South Lake Tahoe it was only 3 days of hiking to reach my next resupply package at Pooh’s Corner, the local trail angel in Truckee. The first day of hiking was entirely on the Tahoe Rim Trail, which followed the ridgeline of the Carson Range and gave me both views of Lake Tahoe to the west and of the Carson Valley to the east.

The next day was my last on the Rim Trail. I reached the southern PCT/TRT junction in the early afternoon, celebrated the completion of my first thru-hike by demanding a high-five from a stranger, and then southbounded the PCT back to Carson Pass. From Carson Pass the plan was to hitchhike all the way back up to Barker Pass where I could pick up the PCT about 5 miles before the TRT junction where I’d left it. I’d been a bit worried about being able to actually find the rides to do this but was able to get 4 different rides in quick succession and reached Barker’s Pass around sundown.

After some amazing ridge walks and an easy day of hiking I reached Donner Pass and ran into HHH, an ’09 hiker doing trail magic/angeling in the area. He gave me a lift to Pooh’s where I arrived just in time for dinner. A lot of hikers had caught up or passed me while I was on the Rim Trail and I saw some at Pooh’s that I hadn’t seen since being in the High Sierra.

I took a zero the next day and met up with a friend that lives in Truckee. We biked from his house on the west shore of Donner Lake into Truckee for the town’s Truckee Thursday event. It felt great to ride a bike and Truckee Thursday was a lot of fun – it’s a farmer’s market type of event with local vendors, live music, a beer garden, etc. I made it back to Pooh’s past 10 and felt like I was in high school again, sneaking in past curfew and trying not to wake anyone. Amazingly I found an open couch to sleep on, despite the fact that there were hikers sleeping on the floor next to it. Either there was something I didn’t know about that couch or the hikers were just accustomed to sleeping on the ground.

I grabbed coffee with another friend in Truckee the next morning before returning to the trail. Caffeined up and eager to cover the next 180 miles to Chester, where I was meeting up with a friend from college for a few days. With all of the friends, family and trail angels I’d been meeting up with, I was beginning to feel like a pretty spoiled hiker – a condition curable only by long, hard days of hiking.

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