Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 77 - Markleeville to campsite near Blue Lakes Road

My breakfast burrito
After a long night's sleep, we finally got up and started our day. Neon and I went to the hotel's cafe, and had great breakfast burritos. We also got our laundry back, and I encountered Sandie's cat, Fiddle, as she was stalking the grass. She was very friendly and felt so soft. Second cat on the trail. May there be many more.
Fiddle, what a cute cat
We took our time getting our gear packed, and waited a bit for Neon to get his, and we headed out to try to hitch back up to the trail.
Together with Sandie
We made a nice cardboard sign of "PCT hikers to Ebbetts Pass", hoping it'll help us get a quick ride. There was nothing quick about it, but after about an hour a couple did pull over for us. They were on their way to one of the lakes after the pass, to let their two puppies play there for a bit. The husband just got into hiking several years ago, but then hurt his back in an accident, and he can't backpack anymore. The wife was still going out on some solo backpack trips.
Another selfie on the trail
They finally dropped us at the trail head at 11:50, and we were off. We knew we are not going to pull a long day today, the 24 miles we had planned before. So we aimed at getting to Blue Lakes Road after 17 miles.
I was happy to find my missing water bottle just where I lost it - under a rock in the stream. I used a hiking pole to get it out. I have been using the same water bottle since the start. So it will last for a few more miles now.

Neon took off straight away, carrying his super small pack. After a while I passed a mother and daughter pair on the trail. The daughter saw my AT patch and we started talking about that. Apparently her father has hiked a Grand Slam, and her mother had only to finish the PCT for hers. I didn't know that at first, but a Grand Slam is hiking a Triple Crown (AT, PCT and CDT) AND the American Discovery Trail, which runs from California to Delaware. That's a lot of trails and miles.
The hike itself wasn't too hard. There were plenty of short ups, but nothing major. And it makes all the difference, even when the daily elevation gain is similar to harder days.

We finally reached the road just after 18:00, and searched a bit further on the trail, for a good camp spot. We found one eventually. After starting late today, we were planning on getting closer to Tahoe tomorrow, and entering it on the following day. But we might just make a big day into town tomorrow after all.