We woke to a blustery day. Lake Aloha was whipped into whitecaps and a bitter breeze worried the trees. It didn't matter: it was resupply day! We were down to our last granola bars, so we packed quickly and headed for the Echo Lake Resort, passing tents and sleeping occupants. How can people sleep so late in the woods? It's a mystery.
Though we only had seven miles to resupply, it quickly became the most demoralizing walk of all time. The culprit? Rolling rocks on a steep descent, slowing our progress to one mile an hour. Then there was an endless lake to circumnavigate. We arrived at the bustling Echo Lake Resort at 9, when another obstacle appeared.
Despite what the store owner had told Flash in the spring, we absolutely could not get our packages until 11. Also, we could not loiter at the store and were banished to a picnic table. Looking around at the mass of humanity, I couldn't really blame the employees, who wore weary looks of resignation as they were bombarded with questions and requests. We settled in for a long wait, accompanied by a couple of thru-hikers and some section hikers.
Finally we were off. Hiking through a parched forest, I thought fearfully of the upcoming Highway 50 crossing. Allegedly, it was dangerous, hikers having to sprint madly between RVs and cars at high speed. Once again, it proved to be a PCT myth and we crossed safely, only to be stymied by the non-signage for southbound hikers. Half a mile up the trail, we realized we were no longer on the PCT and had to backtrack.
|I wouldn't want to be the person who cut this one out.|
|Smoky view from the switchbacks|
|The lake is way over by those cliffs. Does that look like a mile to you?|
It didn't help that Showers Lake was a windhole. A pretty lake nonetheless, it was whipped by a savage gale that made swimming impossible. A section hiker came to sit with us, telling us she had started in Yosemite two weeks ago. Two weeks? We had to be done in a week. It was really difficult, she confided. Some days she only went ten miles.
Not comforted by this, I wrapped up in my quilt for another sleepless night. The relentless push for miles was wearing me down. Was this really what I wanted to be doing? Across the lake, the wind howled. I could only hope for a better day tomorrow.
to be continued...