I have a lazy 6:46AM start after beginning my morning by poking at a blister. (Blisters! How the mighty hikertrash are fallen…) I’m following deer prints along the trail, thinking nice thoughts about wildlife and the quiet magic of nature, when I look up to see a bow hunter side-eyeing me. I cheerfully say hi, making no attempt to speak quietly. Run, deer!
I jam uphill, enjoying the magical early light streaming through the forest, and make it 4.2 miles to the cold, windy high point for the day in less than two hours (fast for me, given my standard tortoise pace).
There’s yet another spectacular view of Lake Tahoe at the top (Thanks, Nevada!), but it’s way too cold to stay for long.
I encounter a solo dude going counterclockwise, a day hiker who I see just in time to not be peeing when he passes, and a glider being towed upwards by a small plane.
Approaching the southeastern corner of the lake, the view now includes Stateline’s cluster of casinos, crowded up against the California-Nevada border to lure in South Lake Tahoe visitors. Also, wildfire smoke.
The downhill slope combined with the promise of a shower and town food gets me to Highway 207 before 12:30PM, where after a few halfhearted minutes of attempted hitchhiking I call my Airbnb host and beg a ride. Kane is a lovely human being who drives to pick me up and deliver me to the wonderful world of wifi, showers, laundry, and a giant plate of hash browns at a local diner.
That evening I hang out with Kane and his neighbors and their dogs, enjoying the company of fellow outdoor nerds. Apparently the recent local drama involved a goth (vampire?) wedding party illegally cutting up a local meadow with their vehicles and concerned neighbors passive-aggressively dragging logs across the access routes. Stateline, it seems, is full of people tired of paying California income tax—but also Nevadans who resent the newly arrived hippies.
Tomorrow: a barely-earned zero day!
Trail company: one backpacker, plenty of day hikers
Lesson learned: even just five days of hiking is enough for a sweet tan line
- August 24, 2018
- 13.1 miles / ~ 1,800′ ascent, 2,350′ descent
- Mile 65 to Mile 78.1, Hwy 207 / Kingsbury Grade