July 14 (Day 74)

Dick’s Lake to Five Lake Creek CS (1107.6 to 1135.8)

Daily miles: 28.2

Out of the lakes grow the fish.  Out of the streams grow the reeds and the waterplants.  Out of the deep forests grow the ferns and the mossy trees.  Out of the intermediate forests grow the grasses and flowers.  Out of the lowlands grow the marshes, and out of the marshes grow the flies and mosquitos.  Out of the trail grows the PCTers, which, that’s me.  I walk past it all, on the PCT, chased relentlessly by the aforementioned flying pests.  Not a moments rest to be had, not even for lunch when I hopped and paced like a person waiting in line for the bathroom.  All to keep the flies and mosquitos from biting.

The buggy forest north of Dick’s Lake

Thankfully, Barker Pass arrived midday and my luck changed.  Up a ridge, across a saddle and them I’m back in the Tahoe basin.  Cool air blows up from the water, huge stoics with neon green moss on their sides, soft tread, and no insects.

Crossing the steep slopes, among the wildflowers

Further up there’s Chief Granite Wilderness and then it’s ridgewalking for miles and miles.  Off to the west: tree-filled valleys and peaks, off to the east: more trees and Lake Tahoe, sailboats and all.  Ski resorts all over these hills, and I walk right through one of them, way up high where the bowl is.  Signs warn me of a ski boundary and avalanche danger.

Ridgewalking in Chief Granite Wilderness. A wonderful place to visit.

At night I find a nearly full campsite, nestled deep in the valley with trees all around.  I find a soft flat piece of ground, near the river, and rest my tired body.

Valley and sunset

Big miles are coming up, every day now, so it an early bedtime for me.

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