Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 78 - Campsite near Blue Lakes Road to South Lake Tahoe

The day was a bit longer than our usual day. But it was mostly easy short ups and downs.
We started by going over to Carson Pass, which was 10 miles away. After the last climb before reaching it, we meet a million day hikers coming up from them pass. Some of them were quite impressed that we came all the way from Mexico.
Down at visitor center we got some great trail magic. The volunteers who run the center maintain cookers with fresh food and loads of snacks for hikers. We had pasta salad, fruit salad, sodas and home made cookies. We stayed there for a while, to get all the food down before we head out, and meet other hikers we haven't seen before. We meet Ninja Tortoise, who is hiking his 3rd thru hike, and Brad, and some others I don't recall their names. Most if them are not getting into Tahoe today, but will just camp close by.
Enjoying our fruit salad
We headed out at about noon, and crossed the road to the 2nd parking area, where there was a finish line for a big bike race (200 miles and 5 mountain passes, or something like that). The race was almost over, so they offered us fresh fruit and treats they had for the racers. We were too full to try anything. But it all seemed very tempting.
The trail went on easily as before, with some minor climbs. We saw some weekend hikers, maybe some of them doing the longer Tahoe Rim Trail. There was a spot by Shower Lake which had a lot of tents. I guess it's a popular camping spot.
View from the trail
The last 4 miles had a very steep descent towards the highway, and then a long 1.5 mile right along the it, when all we wanted to do was to finally get to the road and hitch a ride. The PCT does that a lot.
Getting a ride from the road crossing was harder than we expected. We made a sign from Idan's foam mattress, but cars were zooming by too fast to stop. At the end a couple of musicians pulled over.
The driver was in a band with his farther and uncle, and they were playing in town tonight. His friend was playing with them occasionally, but today he just came along. He is also a snow boarder, and hiked the AT about the same time I did.
They stopped at a market and ate some pork chops while we waited, but eventually got us to "the Y" - a place in South Lake Tahoe where we wanted to find a place to sleep.
First, we had some Subway. Their vegetarian option is not bad, with plenty of fresh vegetables.
The motel we saw from the road had no vacancy, and the nearby campground was $50 for a tent site, because the 4th of July week has started. We then went to another motel, High County Lodge, and managed to get a room for $65. The owner also let us use the laundry, which was very comfortable. The room itself smelled of smoking and wasn't very clean. But it will do for the night.