July 12

Day 71

Start – Mile 1047, 7am

End – Mile 1063, 6pm

Miles – 16

I got going at 7 and almost immediately found the trail magic that I was trying to get to the day before. A guy named Tom from St. Louis who did the trail last year. This year he decided to drive out to Ebbetts Pass and set up for nearly a week at the campground and make food for everyone.

I got him on his last day before being replaced by some other folks. He apologized for being low on supplies but was still able to make me a burger and a hot dog and give me some apple juice. Not a bad way to start the day. Tom is also going to hike up to South Lake Tahoe starting tomorrow so I may run into him there.

Hiking was slow today. Feet are still unhappy so that slows me down and caused me to take a lot of breaks. It was also really hot today- somewhere around 94 at the peak. I think I’ve answered the question as to why I came back out here. It’s simply for the feeling you get after hiking for hours in the heat, feet hurting, sweating buckets under a heavy pack, when you get to a creek with cool running water and you dunk your handkerchief of something in and then ring it out on your head, letting the water run down your head and the back of your neck and you do that over and over until you feel normal again. Best feeling in the world.

Got to hike over a couple volcanic ridges and look out onto Markleeville. Tiny town but from up high it looks lovely.

Camped about a mile away from a dirt road and trail head where a large group of car campers were set up playing ABBA loudly. Thought I’d be far enough away but now I’m listening to gunfire as I try to fall asleep so I guess they’re out here to blow off steam and fire large caliber weapons. I guess the ABBA dance party didn’t hold their interest.

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