Today was awesome, in so many ways. As you can probably tell, this has probably been the worst section so far. And today is the last day before we get into Tahoe for some civilization. I've been waiting for this day for SO long. 12 days out here with no rest, shower, laundry, real food is rough. I think my body just feels dead. I really need a rest day to recover. Been going at it since like mile 900!
We woke a bit earlier today. I've noticed it's hard/feels strange to pack up in the dark but it's the only way to get up and be ready by the first light. I started off the morning with a climb on exposed ridges. It was pretty windy but it got more intense as I reached the top. I couldn't breathe bc the wind was blowing so hard into my face and it almost blew me off the ridge. It was some of the strongest winds I've ever walked in. Most of the day was very windy. But it's also a good thing bc the bugs are less present. Yay!
I've been really hungry since my dinners have been bad and I haven't been eating very much for meals. Just snacking a lot. As I was heading up Carson pass, I started to see more and more day hikers. I passed this one older couple from Germany who gave me a banana, bar and muffin! Oh man I was so happy. This has been my very first trail magic! They said they've been happy just giving food away to thru hikers. They are so sweet. I thought I would save it for lunch but ended up wolfing it down on the ridge. It tasted SO good. As I was coming down, I pass a ton more day hikers and then remembered it was Saturday. A lot of them look at you funny. I really wonder what they are all thinking.
I finally reached the little Carson pass visitor center. I had no clue it was there! They had a cute shop and everything. I walked up hoping to find a trash can so I can throw away that dinner I made several nights ago but turns out they were also offering us food! A bunch of forest service volunteers come out there and some will bring/make food for pct hikers! More trail magic. It's crazy how that happens when you're just so tired, hungry and feeling unmotivated in the longest stretch, something like this happens. It's funny how people call it trail magic out here but it's pretty much just God's provision for us when we need it the most and least expect it. A game and undercover showed up shortly and we just all hung out and ate for awhile. They gave us turkey and egg salad sandwiches, pineapple upside down cake, organic baby carrots, grapes, watermelon, fruit, chips, cookies and so much more. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. It made me so happy and lifted my spirits so much. They also had scales so we all weighed ourselves. All the guys are losing too much. I weighed in at 145 which is my normal weight. I had started the trail like 10 lbs heavier bc I was eating whatever since I knew was gonna be hiking. But I think I'm totally fine where I'm at and have been eating enough.
We signed their trail register (first one in soooo long) and got to see some of our friends who passed by. It was finally time to leave. It's interesting how no one knows about the Carson pass trail magic but I think it's meant to be a surprise and it's the best surprise you can get during this stretch. It was so perfect. We walked across the highway to get back on the trail but there was another event going on across the street. It was a bicycle race called the death ride climbing through five passes that we just walked. So insane. I remember Adam who gave us a ride to lake Isabella was training for this race! Some of the volunteers gave us oranges as we walked through.
The trail then headed into the Tahoe rim trail and it was soooo pretty. Huge open meadows with tons of wildflowers with south Lake Tahoe just across from us. This section has been the prettiest since we left I feel. Super windy still but no bugs. Since this part was flat, my sciatica was KILLING me. I had to stop and stretch again. It sucks. I want to be fast on the flat sections but it hurts really bad. We finally made it five miles before our hitch into Tahoe. My lips are still bubbly and burning feeling. Not sure what the deal is. Hopefully it'll heal in town. I ended up booking another night so I can actually zero. I think I'm gonna need it and I want to take advantage of one of our last California trail towns and access to good food. I literally can't stop thinking about Chinese buffet. I even looked up the hours so I can go right when it opens tomorrow. I'm so hungry right now but so happy food will be so soon.