Day 60: The PCT Unplugged

Mile reached: 1168.5 (+27.6)

High: Scoring a ride back to Donner Pass without having to walk back to the highway to hitch

Low: More mosquitoes

Another day with no camera and beautiful scenery. It turned out that I wasn’t as close to Truckee as I thought I was, but I still made it to the highway by mid-morning. Entertainingly, I could tell when I was getting close by the enormous number of day hikers I had to slalom by.

There was a small informational sign for thru-hikers about what Truckee had to offer. Beyond it was a road, so I sat and waited. Oddly, there wasn’t any traffic on this road. After waiting for a bit, I saw dayhikers heading a different direction, so I followed them and encountered a parking lot and a major highway. A map certainly would have helped here. Anyway, some local dayhikers gave me a ride into town and dropped me off at the Safeway.

After a quick resupply, I sat outside eating lunch. Several people walking by asked, “Are you a thru-hiker?” Two retired men even wanted to talk to me for a while about conditions down in the southern Sierra. Apparently, I’m far enough before the herd that the locals still view us as a novelty.

On my way out, I recalled seeing a Mexican restaurant and wanted to get tacos. As soon as I walked into the dining area to find a table, an older woman excitedly inquired, “You’re not a thru-hiker, are you? Do you need a ride back to the trailhead?” Score! Otherwise, I was going to have to walk back a mile or so to the highway going to Donner Pass before I could hitch. Anyway, she agreed to eat very slowly and wait for me. But, a moment later she just invited me over to her table, and we had lunch together.

Back on the trail I just wasn’t feeling it. It was both hot and exposed, and I had also eaten some very spicy hot sauce with my lunch. However, I pushed on and the going got easier. Though, by early evening several of the valleys the trail crossed were infested with mosquitoes. But, I finally found refuge for the night high on a ridge exposed to strong winds that kept the swarms at bay.

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