Mile 1195 / 1923 KM
South Lake Tahoe to Truckee to Sierra City
I miss: Two healthy feet. My right foot has been acting up since weeks and it's been getting worse and worse every day. Apparently I've got "Plantar Fasciitis" (two words I learned today) so I am in desperate need of some new arch supporting insoles. Can't walk for much longer like this.
Song of my day: "Ride the wild Haze" by Beach Slang
All my life my parents told me not to get into a strangers car and yet it is exactly what I've been doing for the past 2 months. Out here there is no such thing as UBER, so hitching a ride is often the only way to get to town from the trailhead, unless you're ready to walk an other 11 miles which you most likely are not after a 25 mile day.
So far I've been very lucky with the people who have picked me up and I've met the most interesting individuals, like "Aaron the bug man" who I mentioned in my last post. I am totally aware of the fact that it only takes one bad experience to over shadow all the others but you don't really have a choice on a quiet street up in the mountains. Obviously you try to hitch in groups or in couples whenever you can, but sometimes you're heading to an different place than everyone else and then you just gotta go for it.
Katie and I hitched around Truckee like crazy three days ago. Getting into town was easy, but after we got there we realized that the hotel prizes were through the roof, so we had to come up with a plan. No great ideas come about on an empty stomach so fancy-pance pizza place in Old Town Truckee is was! Ordered Rosé and got an appi for free because the bar tender had hiked the PCT 11 years ago himself. Sweet! So far so good. We found a room with 2 bunk beds for 60 bucks, but only after we had made our reservation we noticed that the "Hotel" was in a town 20 miles away. Not a problem! We'll hitch! A girl gave us a ride to a highway where the chances to get picked up are usually higher. It was getting dark when a huge white Pick-Up with antlers on the grill stopped. The front window was rolled down and 3 punks smiled at us and offered us a ride. Katie and I opened the canopy doors in the back so we could throw our packs in, and that is when we met Pork Chop and her two very sweet Pit Bulls. She was sitting in the bed of the truck on what must have been 10 sleeping bags and all sorts of other things. Pork Chop looks exactly how you imagine someone with the name Pork Chop would look. A guy from the front seat and I jumped in the back and joined her. Since the canopy doors wouldn't close properly the driver casually used a chain and a lock to close it securely. Safe and sound! Here we go! Pork Chop, the random dude and I ended up smoking a doobie and by the time I got out of the canopy, Pork Chop had sang a blues song for me and we were giggling about all sorts of things. We had reached our destination. Well, almost. Katie and I were in the middle of nowhere and we still had to climb up a little hill in the woods to get to our Hotel. As we were walking, I noticed a house that looked as Swiss as a house can possibly look. Thinking that that was our place I marched through the back door with Katie on my heels, but of course it was not our place... We had entered a German/American Club-House where a group of people was in the midst of a week long "Learning how to play the accordeon"-Camp. Now imagine high little me standing in the middle of a room surrounded by people who are all dressed in traditional Dirndls and Lederhosen while playing German accordeon tunes, when just 5 minutes ago I had sat in the trunk with Pork Chop and two Pit Bulls!!! I didn't know what the hell was going on! Any who... We were re-directed to the house next door where we found our room... closet might be a more fitting description for it. The room was tiny! Like seriously tiny. You couldn't turn around in it with your pack on. But a bed is a bed. Tomato tomato.
Katie and I have been hiking together again after we randomly bumped into each other in Tahoe a week ago right when Carmen left. We did our first 30 mile day for no good reason a day after. Walking 30 miles takes a while so the day was a long one, but we still went swimming in a lake, had a long lunch and ended up at the most epic camp site overlooking lake Tahoe off a ridge. Walked like grandmas the next day but who cares... It was worth it. Now a 24 mile day feels normal.
So here we are in Northern California and we are getting close to the half way marker. We're moving faster every day, since we don't do crazy elevation like we did in the Sierras anymore. So far I've been really enjoying this section. Especially Aloha-Lake, it was mind blowingly beautiful. I had a hard time leaving South Lake Tahoe and an even harder time leaving Truckee. Those are towns that I definitely want to come back to one day. Seeing people relaxing and actually being on a holiday made me have a melt down for a solid 3 hours. Sometimes you just want to stay in one place and the last thing you want to do is hike, but it's the PCT so you just have to keep on going even if you don't feel like it. But don't get me wrong. I like this trip. It's been incredible in every way and I still catch myself smiling when I come over a ridge or when I reach a mountain top. A sign that I am doing the right thing. This journey has been amazing, it has already changed my views on so many things and we're only half way through!