It’s easy to wake today since I’ve got a mission on my mind: CATCH PINEAPPLE. MUST CATCH PINEAPPLE. MUST HIKE HARD AND LONG AND FAST AND CATCH FRIEEEEEEND. I’m walking by 6:15.
The profile for the day is gentle, so gentle – if I’m going to catch her, today’s gotta be the day. It starts with a down to Fontanillis Lake, reflecting the growing light on the mountains.
Swirvy curvy around Fontanillis, then down to Middle Velma Lake, and around to the mile marker at which I made a wish:
Today, it’s mostly head down, earbuds in, roll roll roll. Focus. Walk. Gentle ups, gentle downs, right on into the Desolation Wilderness.
I listen to stories about cats and time travel and watch Lake Tahoe roll in and out of sight. Everything’s undulating today: the lake in and out of view, the trail going up and down, my hunger ebbing and flowing My mood waxing and waning in between snacktimes. At least I have incentive to eat now.
I’m up and perched most of the afternoon, a-rockin’ and a-rollin’.
The Tahoe Rim Trail is kinda gorgeous, actually, rough and rugged and windblown. Maybe I’ll try the whole thing one day.
I get to a likely stopping point, evaluate where I’m headed – I think I can make it to Five Lakes Creek before dark. I turn on service and get a bunch of texts from Pineapple, and I’m in the middle of typing where I’m headed when one comes in saying she’s headed to Five Lakes Creek, too. YESSSSSSSSSSSS. DON’T GO FURTHER. I’M COMING.
Haul, haul, go go go gotta get there. The trees even seem like they’re in a hurry to go somewhere, even if that somewhere is only up.
At the end of the day’s last real up, the PCT and the TRT part ways, and I’ll admit I’m sad to see the lake go. Nothing but NorCal ahead. And Oregon, and Washington, but who’s keeping track.
My first taste of NorCal is pretty alright, though.
Finally, finally, the last drop of the evening, down, down, to where a bunch of folks are camped – and, when I poke my head in, sho nuff, there’s Pineapple. There are hugs and setting up my tent and a celebratory whisk(e)y tasting – Spesh included a few tiny bottles, and as the sun goes down, ten people gather around and listen to me yammer on about the differences between bourbon and scotch, about the effects of different barrels on the same whisk(e)y. We take each down, pass it around to much merriment. I’m so, so glad to be here.
Pineapple mock-begrudgingly agrees to take me back as a hiking partner, and she actually-begrudgingly agrees to get an early start. I settle in to the dulcet tones of other people settling in, happy to know that I’m among frieeeeeeeeeeends.
Start: 1107.6 • End: 1135.9 • Day: 28.3
Notable Accomplishments: Tangoed with Tahoe • Caught Pineapple! • Held a whisk(e)y tasting on trail