Day 71 - Get Out of Town - June 15
Mouse was really sleeping in, so I got out my food and organized it, figuring out how much food I needed to buy, then I set out for the grocery store. I saw Hamlet, Swedish Fish and their hiking crew in the courtyard, said hello. They were heading out for breakfast, so I joined them. On the walk I told the story of my helicopter rescue and met Princess, another hiker, and Nick, who is like a PCT driver man. He drove them up from Bishop. We tried to eat at Red Hut Cafe, but they saute everything in butter. They didn't have any other oils. Well, that's a first. Hamlet, Swedish Fish and I left to get some food at the grocery store instead. We resupplied while we were there. Raley's had lots of vegan food, including non-dairy ice cream. Yum!
While we were there, Swedish Fish was talking to Maggie on the phone. She had a ride arranged for tonight. I tried to get in on it, but the car was full with five people already. They suggested I get together with Optimistic Turtle and Tripod for a ride. Back at the hostel, I rushed to get everything out of my room and into the common room. Then I attacked a pint of mint chocolate chip non-dairy ice cream and a container of raspberries. It didn't last long. I talked to Tripod and Optimistic Turtle, they had a ride at 4 set up.
I sorted my resupply food and bought a pair of long leggings at Patagonia. Then I walked to the post office to mail a resupply ahead to Soda Springs and mail things home. I sent home my balaclava, thermal pants and capri leggings. The warm hat and long leggings replace them.
As soon as I got back, the ride was there and I rushed to grab everything. I got it all, even though my pack looked ridiculous because it couldn't close. I quickly said goodbye to Mouse. I wish I'd had more time with him this morning, but he was very tired. He needs to rest up and heal.
Susan dropped me, Tripod and Optimistic Turtle at the trail near Echo Summit, where the trail gets near Highway 50. If all goes to plan, this is where I'll finish the trail in October. Optimistic Turtle hiked alone, but we passed back and forth a few times. The trail was very hard to follow here. There were a lot of downed trees. The trail also didn't have the same worn down by thousands of feet look that it does in the desert. I hiked with Tripod. He's a photographer from San Francisco, and he took the three day snow course with Mountain Education and Ned Tibbetts back in March. It was actually in this same location. He said they used snowshoes and just walked right over the snow covered lake. Only the roofs of the houses were showing. The snow started getting steep and we ended up using our crampons. I was glad to have them and not microspikes. Tripod told me how to hold the Whippet, to always have it on the downhill side when hiking. He showed me that when going downhill, you have more control if you put your hands on top of the trekking pole and Whippet. Getting down to the parking lot at Echo Lake was steep. Tripod glissaded down, but I had just my skirt on so I walked down.
We hiked in, seeing the sign that says no camping between there and the Desolation Wilderness boundary. This isn't marked on the hiker apps. We ended up camping within the prohibited area, with a group of four, including Peter from South Carolina. I hadn't seen him since around Cabazon! I told him the rumors of me being off trail were greatly exaggerated. Everyone from early on thinks I'm off trail. I set up my tent with rocks, got water from the lake and sat down to cook dinner. I discovered that the little piece the pot sits on was missing. I must have left it at the last campsite. Without it, the stove is useless. Tripod let me borrow his stove. We hiked around 3 miles today.
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