Days 74 & 75 (Miles 1076.8 to 1114.7)

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After spending the night at the mostly deserted Kirkwood ski area, we packed up and made our way back to the trail. As we left the hotel, Rob said “I hope whoever gives us a ride has donuts for us.” I laughed at his optimism. I was expecting a difficult hitchhike back to the trail. It didn’t seem like Highway 88 on a weekday morning would be an easy place to catch a ride, but it took all of about five minutes before somebody stopped. We made it to the Carson Pass trailhead in no time!

We were about to hit the trail, when one of the volunteers arrived to open up the Visitor Center for the day. He asked if we were PCT hikers. When we said yes, he asked if we wanted donuts! He was carrying a box of donuts to share with hikers. I couldn’t believe it!!

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We ate our donuts, signed the hiker log, and had our photos taken. We were hikers #18 and #19 to sign the log. Not too many people ahead of us, and probably about a thousand people behind us. Interestingly, way back at Mile 211 (Ziggy and the Bear’s), we were hikers #108 and #109.

The trail between Carson Pass and Desolation Wilderness is beautiful. We saw quite a few day hikers and backpackers out enjoying the good weather.

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We decided to resupply at the Echo Lakes Chalet instead of going in to South Lake Tahoe. When we got to Echo Lakes, we learned that the store did not yet have the water turned on for the season. This meant no milkshakes or deli sandwiches! We settled for beers, fresh fruit, and cheese. We also bought enough snacks to get us to Truckee where we’ll take a day off.

Echo Chalet
Echo Chalet

From the Echo Chalet we hiked another three miles to reach Desolation Wilderness. (Camping is not allowed until you reach the wilderness boundary.)

Camped with a view of Echo Lakes.
Camped with a view of Echo Lakes.

The following day’s hike took us past Lake Aloha, up and over Dick’s Pass, and almost all the way to the northern boundary of Desolation Wilderness.

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Lake Aloha and Pyramid Peak.
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Heather Lake
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Mostly frozen Dicks Lake
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Crossing the Fontanillis Lake outlet.
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Trail creek.

After an 18+ mile day, we found another great campsite – well off the trail – with a view of Lake Tahoe.

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12 thoughts on “Days 74 & 75 (Miles 1076.8 to 1114.7)”

  1. Interesting seeing your reports from the trail. I am reading other posts from hikers showing less than optimal “snowy”. I’m hiking NOBO from Sonora Pass to Beldon starting June 18th. Any thoughts on extra gear such as microspikes, gps, waterproof socks???? How much of the trail is snow covered or just mud and water? Good luck on the rest of your journey I’m flipping up to do WA/OR sobo first of August – StarMan

    1. Hi StarMan. It’s supposed to heat up quite a bit next week. I think a lot of the snow we encountered will be quickly melting. We definitely needed GPS on a few miles of trail, but the snow is mostly only above 9000 feet on north and east slopes. I’d be prepared for water everywhere with extra pairs of socks and quick drying shoes. I’d leave the microspikes at home. We pulled out crampons only once: there were some steep icy patches when we left Sonora Pass early in the morning. All the other snow we encountered was soft and we had good traction without spikes. We’ve made it as far as Truckee. I hear the snow completely ends somewhere around mile 1200.

  2. Sweet, donuts for breakfast! Are you sure you’re roughing it out in the wilderness? Sounds like you are having the adventure of a lifetime. What an accomplishment hiking over 1,000 miles, keep it up one foot in front of the other. Maybe we will be able to meet you somewhere along the trail closer to our neck of the woods. Enjoy your trail time!

    1. Thank you Megan! We are half roughing it – there are definitely some nice breaks in between all the wilderness. ๐Ÿ™‚ It would be fun to meet up when we make it up north!

  3. You both are doing great๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š keep enjoying your adventure and the magic synchronicity of Lifeโœจ Reading your post & watching your pics make my heart wish to go back to West Coast. Kind regards ๐ŸŒˆ Corinne (in rainy Switzerland)

    1. Thanks Corinne! ๐Ÿ™‚ It has been a little rainy here also, but probably not quite as much as in Switzerland.

  4. What a difference a couple of weeks makes. When I was there at the beginning of June Lake Aloha was completely covered in ice and several feet of snow and Pyramid Peak was completely white from the top down to Lake Aloha. You’re doing great. I hope you are still enjoying the journey. That’s what’s most important.

    1. Thanks Mike. It’s amazing how quickly it all melts! We are definitely enjoying things a lot more now that we’ve gotten past the majority of the snow and big creek crossings.

  5. If you get a chance (and haven’t left already) try the 50 50 brewery in Truckee. Some good food and yummy barrel aged beers like Old Conundrum not available anywhere except at the brewery.

  6. Thanks for the trail update. Adding one more pair of socks. Removing micro-spikes. I’m prepared to be wet. Check. Check. And check.

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