July 10 (Day 70)

CS1069.7 to CS1087.2 (1069.7 to 1087.2)

Daily miles: 17.5

I feel bad about complaining about the wind, but it was turning my brain to static.  Luckily it slowed down and then finally stopped by noon, right before I went up and over Carson Pass.

Day hikers start popping up everywhere, trailhead and road approaching.  I stop by the fantastic Carson Pass Information Station, staffed by what seems like a dozen people, all so very friendly.  Two large coolers are set up in the corner, with instructions for thru-hikers to eat all they want.  I plow through a dozen cookies and some cherry tomatoes while talking to a man who works there.  Only 20 to 30 thru-hikers passing by these days, he says. He offers to fill my water bottles and I go to sign the PCT register.  I write: “So many feelings about trail/wind/food/my body.  But life is good.”  Seemed fitting for this 150 mile section, which has been most challenging for me.  I browse the register and look for people I know.  Some are far ahead, others only a day.

As I start hiking again I get stopped by almost everyone who passes.  Information boards about the PCT have been set up in the area, and everyone wants to know what it’s like to hike this trail.  Everyone is so encouraging. One woman was just chanting, “keep going, keep going, keep going,” as I walked past.

Meadow leading down, toward Lake Tahoe

I camp at night near a ledge looking down into the valley and Lake Tahoe. I can see dots, boats, on the water.  There’s an air strip that must be the airport, and tiny red and white lights blinking off and on.  I camp next to a couple who are very friendly and love the PCT.  They’re out here section hiking their favorite sections this summer, which actually is probably the best way to enjoy this trail.

Leaving the afternoon’s meadow behind

It’s cold up here, perfect for sleeping.  Quiet, no wind, except for a small stream flowing nearby.  Taken as a whole day, it’s been an ideal shift from my experience yesterday.  Such is life on the PCT.

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