Daily Miles: 18
Total Miles: 1109
It was hard to leave the nice house in Tahoe this morning. We woke up to the smell of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls that DreamCatcher had put in the oven.
Tahoe seems to be the point of change in our hiking group. The core of us (about 7 or 8 of us) have hiked together on and off pretty much since the beginning of the trail. Now, it seems that people’s goal for an ending date is becoming more of a focus, causing people to start hiking at different paces. XC and Lid headed out a day early with the goal of finishing the trail by the end of August…we don’t expect to see them again on the trail. Gazelle will be coming back to the trail in a few days after a trip with her family. Hopefully we’ll hike with her again, but she will take a few days off again in a few weeks when her boyfriend comes to visit. Proton and DreamCatcher are starting to do bigger mile days. We walked with DreamCatcher today, but then she continued past our camp in order to catch up with Proton…not sure we’ll see them again on the trail. We decided to keep our miles pretty moderate, at least for the next week or so. As SweetPea’s hip has continued to bother her, we want to take things a bit easy. We aren’t focused on an end date goal, but instead are just trying to make progress while not aggravating SweetPea’s hip. MountainMan is still hiking with us, which is awesome. He may decide at some point that he needs to go faster than us, but for the time being, we will continue to enjoy his company. So, we have gone from a group of 10 coming into Tahoe, to a group of three leaving Tahoe.
The walking today was quite nice. We walked along the upper and lower Echo Lakes. They are quite unique in that there are vacation homes built along the shore which are only accessible by boat or by hiking trail. Some of the homes are quite old and rustic, while others seem quite new and modern. It would be really amazing to be able to spend a summer in one of those houses.
After Echo Lake, we entered into the Desolation Wilderness area. This area was memorable to us when we hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail, because of all the beautiful and pristine alpine lakes. We stopped for lunch on the shore of Aloha Lake, which has many rock islands scattered throughout the lake. We had a nice breeze, which kept the bugs away.
After lunch, we started a steady climb which culminated at the top of Dick’s Pass. Beardoh was ready for another fun “pass” photo, so MountainMan played photographer again, as Beardoh jumped over SweetPea’s head. DreamCatcher even got a nice “behind the scene” photo which was pretty fun to see. Doing those photos always makes us laugh.
Coming down the north side of the pass, we came into some snow, which covered up the trail. Luckily it only lasted a quarter of a mile or so, and then we were on some nice switchbacks down to Dick’s Lake. We decided to go another mile before calling it a day.
Once we got to camp, we said goodbye to DreamCatcher as she continued another three miles to meet up with Proton and Billie. It was sad to see her go, as we have really enjoyed getting to know her. She has a very laid back personality, which makes for good company.
We have been told that we are at the beginning of a cold front in the weather. Today’s temperatures were cool and perfect for hiking. We hope that this cool weather continues for a bit.
We had a few gear changes starting today…Beardoh has new shoes and a new down coat. His last pair of shoes had a giant hole in the toe (most likely from the snow in the Sierras). While his shoes didn’t last as long as he had hoped, he is still happy with his Brooks shoes. As for his down jacket, he had come to realize that his jacket was past its prime, so it was time for something new. As for SweetPea’s gear changes, she decided to stop carrying her long john top and bottom. She decided that having her wind pants and wind shirt were enough for the summer months. She also retired her homemade pack, as it has been wearing out and getting a hole in a weight bearing seam. She made the move to an MLD Prophet pack which we bought used from MountainMan. It is a good pack, but with any gear change, it will take a bit to get used to.