Miles: 1078.7 to 1094
We set the alarm for 8. After 65 miles in two days, we decided to take an easier day, with the option of opting out if we needed to.
But it all worked. We got up and packed up our campsite. We headed to breakfast at a nearby diner spot. I love breakfast food. I got eggs Benedict, French toast, coffee, fried potatoes. Richard got Huevous Rancheros and hot chocolate. So good.
We returned the bike. Today’s hike we could access from both ends by car.
We drove back to Echo Lake, where Richard had started and I had ended on our first slack day. I left Richard there and drove south to Carter Pass on highway 88. I parked at a popular trailhead and started north.
Even though the day’s miles would be half of what we’d put in the last two days, I still had the mentality of “hurry so you get there before dark.” While I am prepared for night hiking and have lots of experience doing it, it is not my preference.
After winding around a nice meadow, the trail climbed up to a lake, then higher still to a ridge. Coming down the ridge, snow pockets masked the trail and route finding was the most challenging part.
Part way down, I found Richard. We stopped for a long lunch chatting and lingering. I told Richard about a confusing spot he’s hit in less than a mile which I’d marked with an arrow of sticks to point him in the right direction.
I had a huge downhill off of Echo Summit. While not super steep, it went on for miles with huge rock steps covered in snow.
I then crossed highway 50 and climbed up a little to a Echo Lake.
While I sat to wait for Richard I dried my socks and let the sun keep me warm.
Once Richard got there, we drove to Reno to prepare for some real world zeros. We have some post-trail stuff to deal with for the next few days. Then it’s back to the Sierras!