Pacific Crest Trail Quest '08 - Page 17
I woke up this morning in a bad mood due to the mosquito sunglasses incident. My
mood worsened when a cloud of the nasty critters descended on me as soon as I left the
tent. I passed some beautiful lakes, but in my foul mood, I failed to enjoy them.
After a few miles, the trail climbed up high and away from the mosquitoes. I tried to be
happy, but the sun was too bright without my sunglasses. I pressed on, looking forward
to a real bed and a shower in Tahoe City. I reached the highway about 2:00 and only had
to wait about five minutes before I was picked up by two young Swiss men who spoke very
There was only one hotel in town, and I asked the lady behind the desk how much a room
would cost. She said $185. I asked if there was any place cheaper. She laughed and
said, You're in Tahoe, and this is a weekend. That IS cheap.
I wanted to slap her, but instead, said Thanks and walked out the door.
I resupplied at the grocery store, and ordered a sandwich at the pizza shop. The guy
behind the counter gave me my sandwich for free, since I was on the PCT. At 4:30 I stuck
out my thumb for a ride back to the trail.
Tons of cars passed, but it was 45 minutes before I was picked up by two drunk girls in a
pickup. They gave me a beer and a ride to the road leading to the trailhead. They told me
they didn't usually pick up hitchhikers, but I didn't look like an ax murderer. That's good to
I got a ride the last seven miles to the trailhead from a cyclist who had finished his
evening trip and was on his way home. I walked about a mile to a nice little creek and set
up camp. I still really need a shower, and my clothes still really need washed, but it will be
70 miles before I can try again. I hope Sierra City is a little cheaper.
MOSQUITOES!!! I'm going to lose my mind if I can't get out of these bugs. I sued up the
last of my bug spray on my way into Echo Lake this morning. It doesn't help much,
anyway. I was nearly sucked dry on my 15 mile walk in.
Echo Lake was a let down. I had hoped to spend the night there and have a hot bug-free
shower, but the cheapest room was $125, so on I went. I did get a new bottle of bug
spray, but was still plagued by a thick cloud of mosquitoes on my walk out of town. I ran
for a few miles and managed to lose my sunglasses. Now the bugs keep landing on my
eyeballs. It's awful!
I'll be in Tahoe city in a little over a day. I've been told there's a Motel 6 for $45 a night
there. If I can make it that far without a blood transfusion, I'll take a day off, catch up on
some sleep, and find some 100 percent DEET. I have to find a way to deal with these
bugs or I'll go insane!
I didn't feel like hitting the trail this morning, so I didn't. I slept in until 10:00. I was
planning on spending the day relaxing in Tahoe City, but I'm not rich enough for that. I
started walking north.
There are a lot fewer streams crossing the trail now, and few of the mountains are tall
enough to have snow on them. It's pretty out here, but it's certainly not the wilderness I've
grown used to. There are ski lifts on the mountains, and people walking their dogs on the
trail. I won't miss Tahoe.
Even with the late start, I hiked 22 miles today. I can tell I'm in a lot better shape after the
Sierra. The two things I need most right now are to wash my socks and take a shower.
I've been cleaning up in the creeks along the trail, but the water's really cold. I think about
a shower more than Snickers bars now. Hopefully, I can get a cheap room in Sierra City
in a few days.