I woke up Sunday morning at Lake Aloha in my tent. I was glad to be secure inside, while the morning mosquitoes awoke and began buzzing around outside. I was eager to move on, to hike back to my car. The reason was twofold: I wanted to grab breakfast at Denny's in South Lake Tahoe. I also wanted to see the trees along highway 50 that I had missed while driving through the dark Friday night.
Before I reached my car, I met and talked to several PCT thru hikers. I asked one hiker what his favorite part of the trail had been so far.
"The towns!" he answered.
I met another hiker named "Inspector Gadget." He expressed concern for what the fall weather may hold in Washington. Ahhh, I remember those concerns.
Breakfast was calling, so I quickly made miles and reached my car by 10:30. What I was about to see blew me away. As I started driving down highway 50 towards South Lake Tahoe, the trees were breathtaking. There were giant pines everywhere I looked. Huge, fully expressive, ancient trees. The highway was extremely busy but I had to pull off and park my car in a turnout to inspect. As I was bushwhacking through some dense underbrush to reach one particular tree, I noticed a dirt road with a man walking along it. As I came crashing through the bushes, he looked at me and then quickly looked away. I must have looked nuts. As I tripped onto the road, I made eye contact with his wife and just laughed.
"Sorry, I know I look crazy, but I just had to get a closer look at these trees!" I explained.
"Oh....ok....cool!" the man answered.