Day Two – 16 July 2018 – Monday
Big Meadow (7651ft; mile 105.3) to Gilmore Lake (8327ft; mile 133)
29.3 miles today of 64.6 miles total
Today felt long. The trail joined the PCT a few miles after hitting the trail and I was overwhelmed with nostalgia and impatience. The TRT and PCT overlap for about 50 miles. I didn’t anticipate how mentally challenging that was going to be for me. I mean this is a beautiful section, and not that many people actually got to hike it my year due to the big fire on trail back at Ebbetts Pass. I only barely made it through the day the fires started in 2015 because of a big 32 plus mile day on the summer solstice, when I had only anticipated a short 22 miles day.
Anyway, recalling memories caused the miles to move slowly by. It felt like I was moving slowly at least. I also stopped a lot and was in a surprisingly chatty mood. I met several TRT people, but none were planning faster miles. I then met a group of PCT SoBo’ers. Technically they were all only doing sections, not the full Canada to Mexico, but I was excited to talk. It felt like catching up with old friends, despite none of us having ever met before. These instant friends are Loner, Lady Meow Meow, and Milkshake. I also met two guys, a younger and older, who are NoBo PCTers. We all stopped at the Echo Lakes Chalet around the same time. While leaving Susie Lake to make a last haul up to Gilmore Lake for the night, I met another woman with her dog. She started last year but was turned off due to snow. This would seem a bit far south for any regular PCTers. But mid July I was almost finished with California. Long ways to go for NoBos!
I decided to call an early night tonight. Catch up on last night’s journaling, get a good leg rub in, eat the veggie and avocado sandwich I bought at the Chalet, and get a swim in before bed. All checked! Mostly I wasn’t sure I wanted to try for Dick’s Pass and then hike two more miles for the lake. At the risk of not finding as many campsites there, I called it early. I will be trying to make up those five miles tomorrow with an early start. The trail tomorrow should depart from the PCT and then stay up on the rim overlooking Lake Tahoe, so I think the miles should be easier. And it will put me as close to Tahoe City as I can go and still camp for free. I am very happy the miles haven’t been as brutal as they could have been. The TRT could have been my defeat for this summer. I mean there’s still time, but I feel good for now.
The mosquitos are ruthless tonight, so I am tucking in. I didn’t bring my bug net on my tent, so I will need to literally tuck in until it becomes too cool for them to be out.