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Martin "Lei Low" Rolph
City: Cameron Park
Begins: Apr 12, 2008
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Well, the news from the trail further north is not good. More on that later. I'm camped tonight at Lakes Valley Creek between Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski areas. It was a nice and fairly scenic day of hiking, but my feet are really sore. I don't think the new Montrails are going to work for me.
The day started with easy hiking in deep forest. The area north of Velma Lakes is mostly forested with a few views. There was an occasional glimpse to the west of lower peaks and lots of smoke at the lower elevations. I made good time hiking on fairly easy trail with no snow (yay!) and soon left Desolation Wilderness. After hiking past some nice-looking lakes accessible by dirt roads, I made a long traversing climb to Barker Pass. At the road heading to Tahoe City, there's a PCT trailhead with picnic tables and a pit toilet. I stopped for lunch and marveled at the day-hikers coming and going. I didn't realize Barker Pass was so popular.
Just north of the trailhead, I met a group of Tahoe Rim Trail volunteers coming back from a hike. We chatted a bit, and they gave me a cool TRT pin. This area has great views along the pacific crest, with volcanic mountains that are very different from the granite back in Desolation Wilderness. Along the crest, I recognized Alpine Meadows ski area. I figured there would be cell coverage (there was) and gave Bb a call.
She gave me the aforementioned bad news... the fires to the north are not getting any better. Now, the PCT is closed from right around Bucks Lake to Belden and from Belden to Highway 36 near Chester. ["Cahn't get theah from heah," as they say in Maine. -Bb] My hope for a quick reopening of the PCT is not materializing. Decision time. It would be a lot of driving if I keep going and Bb rescues me at Bucks Lake or Sierra City. My decision is to have her fetch me at Donner Summit (I-80), and we'll drive up to Chester (past the fires) next weekend for our planned 4th of July celebration. So, I only need to get to I-80 tomorrow. I think my feet will appreciate it.
That's the scoop from PCT-land,
Martin "Lei Low"
Tales From The Crest
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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