The volcanic Mt. Lassen Wilderness leads to Hat Creek Rim, a notoriously hot and dry portion of the PCT. Hikers will often travel 20 miles without a reliable water source. I figured that if I was going to be thirsty, at least I could be somewhat cool. I hiked into the night to avoid the sun, camped 10 miles into the rim, and awoke at 5 in the morning to finish the water-less stretch.
Nor Cal /
Aloha Lakes was my first campsite in the Northern California region of the PCT. Lake Tahoe, with a diameter of about 22 miles, was very impressive, but nothing beats waking up next to a giant mirror reflecting the morning sky. The landscape is changing dramatically. Have been spending the past few days walking through moss-covered trees, spacious ridgelines, and more wildflowers than I have seen in my entire life. I also recently got a shiny new pair of shoes. Woo!
Saying goodbye to one of the most beautiful and dramatic sections of the PCT has been difficult. As I moved closer to Lake Tahoe, the snowy landscape gave way to rocky meadows and patches of wild flowers. Several fellow hikers claimed that this was unexpectedly their favorite section of trail. I can see why.
Half Dome, bears, and waterfalls. Need I say more?
The three day hike from Thousand Island Lake to Tuolumne Meadows was beautiful. On the first night I made the mistake of cowboy camping with an unseen rainstorm approaching in the distance. I awoke around 4 A.M. to the sound of raindrops and chill of a soggy sleeping bag. After another day of hiking and drying off my stuff, I descended into Tuolumne Meadows. Aside from the kamikaze death mosquitos, it was the most pleasant stretch of trail I have walked on the PCT.