Harpo’s PCT Journal: Aug 30 – Sep 2

Day 75-78 (Reno to Echo Lake/S Lake Tahoe)

Miles hiked this section: 61
PCT hiked so far: mile 2660 – 1092
Total miles hiked so far including blue blazing etc: 1519ish

day 75

We take another zero in Reno because we need to pick up mail in Truckee and the PO is closed on Sunday’s. Also Reno is rad. We eat at Deluxe again and I get a hair cut. We are invited by our friends to a typically hospitable Reno birthday gathering for someone named Chris. He treats us like family even though we just met and a stranger named Mystical Marcus takes his shirt off and gives it to me. It is a fabulous Adidas special edition whitewater competition commemorative Jersey. Huck will google this collectors item tomorrow and find someone offering it for $300+ but I will never sell it because it is so rad. I send it home to protect it from my thru hiker stench. 
Day 76

Our angel Jeffrey shuttles us from Reno to Truckee. After a quick coffee we check the PO for our general delivery packages. We are surprised by a package of power bars from Groucho’s mom and another box of fancy snacks from his cousin Rachel (their birthdays are only a couple days apart). We also get new sleeping bivys which will allow for warmer and more bugfree cowboy camping. Sadly a package of chocolate from our friend J has gone astray and I spend several hours trying to get fedex to tell me where it is. 

Me: where is my package? 

Them: what is the address on the package? 

Me: I think it was the post office but they don’t have it 

them: it was delivered 3 days ago 

me: where ? 

Them: “I can’t tell you where it was delivered for the security of the package ” 

me: then how am I supposed to go pick it up”.  

We sit in the Starbucks outdoor seating and shake down Twinless’ pack. We encourage her to drop about 2-3 lbs of gear. 

At of 5pm we make a move to hitch back to the trail. An extremely nice woman gives us a hitch saying the has a vacation coming up and is planning some hiking on the PCT. You go rad lady!!

We sit at the trailhead lethargic after our 4 day break. We drink beers at Donner Pass and tell stories and eat snacks. A hiker comes upon us named Bug. She is just starting a 300 mile section but did the whole PCT last year. We rally to start walking. 

As we start to ascend high ridge lines views open up and the wind blows strong and cold. Summer vacation is over… We hike into dark telling survival stories. 

Day 77

We rise before dark and quickly reach tinker knob, a scramble which Groucho ascends while I dig a cat hole. Huck and Twinkess press on. We meet Twinless a little later for a break under some ski lifts. We decide to try 30 miles today… it will be Twinless’ first 30. The morning is hot, even at this elevation and I need sunscreen and my umbrella. Thankfully TL and G like breaks so I find them a few hours further along at a water source eating lunch. I realize my dried apples have dried moths and eggs or bug feces in them. I consider the ecological benefits of  eating bug protein and decide to bury them in a cat hole instead. the afternoon is a blur of walking up and down and up and down. At higher elevation is harder to catch my breath. Feeling like an amateur again. We wonder where Huck got off to and figure he tried to catch up with ATrain who left town earlier yesterday. 

At our evening water break Bug catches up. She’s already hiked 26 miles today having camped earlier than us. Somehow she decides she can join us the last few miles of our day even though it’s her second day on trail. 

 At Richardson Lake it is getting dark and windy and cold. We call it a night and I eat a Delicious pbj on tortilla provided by Twinless because I am low on snacks.  

Day 78

Today we will get to town for sobo trail days… An event I have been planning for weeks. The NOBO tradition is that over 1000 gather in cascade locks this same weekend. Our humble mimicry will join 6 hikers and a dog in S Lake Tahoe. 

As per usual we start hiking in the dark. I watch our flashlights sweeping the trail in mountain lion territory and wonder if Cougars think of flashlights like cats think of laser pointers. 

We break for cold hydrated oats and I learn Bug is our power animal. Not only did she hike 32 miles yesterday but she has a stove and is making a vegan mocha. She really has her game on. 

Around 10 we meet Huck. He and A Train also slept at Richardson lake but were asleep when we got there. We ascend higher and higher passing many beautiful lakes.  And I have a great convo with Twinless about girl stuff. 

 Around noon we ascend for the first time over 9000 feet at Dicks Pass. Atrain and Ekho eventually join and we and we have a wild trail days lunch break with whiskey, chocolate and Birthday Oreos that Groucho and I hiked in from Reno. 
11 miles to town so we hike down passing a million swimming holes. We only partake in one. Groucho asks a wilderness guide if he can sign his green cast. He gives consent. 
We hear about a water taxi at Echo Lake that cuts 3 miles of walking but stops running at 5pm. We race down the trail and make it just in time. It is the most gorgeous lake I have seen.

We sit outside the closed Echo Lake store and call a dozen trail angels hoping for a ride. Their numbers are helpfully posted here for this purpose  finally the   Best trail angel Lelani, rises to the occasion shuttling us all including the dog to Lake Tahoe pizza co where we get vegan cheese! Everything about this day is rad. 


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