July 13 (Day 73)

South Lake Tahoe to Dick’s Lake (1092.3 to 1107.6)

Daily miles: 15.3

Rex provided an excellent 48 hours away from trail during which I ate a good amount, purchased new gear, resupplied, and generally enjoyed the scenery and company.  He proved himself to be a trail angel of the highest order and Tahoe is stunning. Bad news: the SD card that held all my pictures and a few hours of video is indeed damaged, so unless I can find someone to get the data off of it I lost a lot of media I’ve been looking forward to seeing after all this is over.  I’m holding out hope.

Echo Lake

Anyway, the trail picked up where it left off, at tucked away little Echo Lake.  At first, I forgot what I was doing but my legs kept me going.  I haven’t felt this energized since the first couple of weeks, so I pass the time by greeting the day hikers and looking at the mountains.  This area is marked by dozens of lakes, and I pass by a number of junctions before the PCT drops me off right on the shore of Aloha Lake.

It’s a stunner, reminding me of 1000 Island Lake, with sweeping views and plenty of granite.  Tents dot the hillsides, people parked for the day to enjoy an afternoon of swimming, eating, and day hiking.  Sure sounds nice.

On the trail, approaching the outlet of Aloha Lake

But I have a pass to walk over, nearly a 2000 footer.  Dick’s Pass is at 9400 feet, and provides a generous amount of ridge walking and stunning vistas.  There’s snow and marmots and flies and mosquitos, and then there’s the lake spread out below me.  How’d I get up here so fast? (A: by not fueling my body with garbage.) Beyond that, more mountains, but I can’t see a single bit of snow on any of them.  

Near Dick’s Pass

At night I sit on a boulder just off shore, positioned in the lake.  The mosquitos aren’t as bad if I’m sitting on water.  Fish jump up to catch insects, and small groups of high schoolers can be heard playing at their high school games.  They’re having a great time out here.  The sun sets and casts a light over the pass, over the snowfields, and finally goes down for good and I get to go hide in my tent and watch the bugs land on my bug-net, desperate to get in.

(I’m not letting them.)

Dinner at Dick’s Lake. The pass is the hillside on the far left.
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