21.8 miles (Miles 1126.9 – 1148.7)
Barker Pass – just past Tinker Knob
It was a pretty day. We did a lot of climbing up to bare ridges with few trees and stumbly-rock trails, and each time we were rewarded with a new, incredible view. Each time almost seemed to get better, too. We’d descend sharply after each climb, as well. But this, too, rewarded us with shaded patches of pine forest with soft-dirt trails.
It started with sunny, morning views of the deep blue Lake Tahoe way in the distance. The edge of the lake reflected the mountains on the other side, and the morning’s sun-haze blended it all together at the shoreline. You almost couldn’t tell where the shoreline was… besides where the sun reflected on the water, it all just faded into lake, mountain and sky. Pristine perfectness.
Next we climbed through more flowers. There are these little purplish-white ones that reminded me of cotton balls when the sun shone through them.
We split away from the Tahoe Rim Trail today. I remember the same junction from my TRT hike in ’09, when I stopped and stared at that same post – the PCT goes left, and the TRT goes right. I thought, “oh, if only I could just turn left and keep going all the way to Canada. Someday…”
…and there I was again today, and I stared at that post again. Then I smiled… and turned left.
We hiked high above two ski resorts today. I didn’t feel one bit jealous of the people down below sipping their coffee and shopping in the villages… not with the view we had on our side of the hill! I think we were climbing up and over ridges all day today. It was like one giant playground – well, it is one giant playground!
Towards the end of the day when we were getting tired and wanting to find camp, we found ourselves on yet another long ridge after our steepest climb of the day – it was wide-open, windy, and hilly with no sign of any flat spots… but it was freakin’ gorgeous. The views of the far-off mountains faded in the afternoon’s sun-haze and blended with the sky this time. I could’ve hiked forever on those tired legs with that scenery fueling me the way it was.
I’ve heard the phrase, “the trail will provide.” I think it’s usually in reference to help from people when you need it the most. I sometimes think that to myself in situations like tonight when we really needed a flat spot sheltering us from that constant wind coming over the ridge. Guess what? A short while later we came to a clump of trees… a flat spot… a wind block… home for the night.
To top off a beautiful, tough day, we were blessed with a great sunset. This is my view typing this blog entry from the tent:
Tonight I love coffee… but to drink in the morning, of course! I mentioned my love for coffee this morning and Tears said, “that could be your love for today…” good idea!
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!