Day 102: The Tahoe Rim Trail

July 1, 2018

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I was up at 4:45am, went to fetch my food bag from the tree I’d hung it in the night before, and set up my camera to do a time-lapse recording of the sun rising against my tent and me packing up to hike. Even though I added a new chocolate protein mix and powdered milk to my coffee, it was still rough and I had a hard time finishing it. I think I’m making too much with too little water. Maybe I should just do coffee, powdered milk, and coconut oil? Skip the caloric additives? We’ll see. 

Here’s a series of photos from my time-lapse video. The full video is on my Instagram: @sarah_trooper_rogers

I hiked out at 6:00am and did 24 miles. I was hoping for 30 but decided early on that I would play it by ear depending on how my feet felt at the end of the day. By the time I threw down my pack around 5:30pm, I had a hot spot on my big toe, discomfort on the balls of my feet, and full-on blisters on my left heel and baby toe. Not a good sign. I’d only hiked about 200 miles in these new balance tennis shoes before I mailed them on to S. Lake Tahoe, but I know I’m not going to look for an identical pair when these wear out (which feels like it may be soon) so I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just switch to Hokas or whatever in order to get the break-in blisters dealt with? I guess we’ll see what’s available when I get to Truckee, CA. 

Speaking of which, I thought Sparky and Ghosthiker were somewhere behind me all this time but it turns out they’re still in S. Lake Tahoe. Ghosthiker hurt her foot, so they’re skipping the Desolation and Granite Chief wilderness areas and taking a bus to Truckee instead. I guess that’s okay. I hope her foot isn’t hurt too bad. 

The trail was SO hot today. Honestly, if it hadn’t been so green everywhere I’d have thought I was back in the desert. The sun was relentless and it felt like the heat was radiating off the ground and frying my feet through my shoes. Probably why my feet are in such bad shape now. This is where the PCT and the Tahoe Rim Trail run together for a little while. Whenever I was higher up, I usually got a few great views of Lake Tahoe in the distance. Whenever I wasn’t high up on ridgelines, the trail was bordered by these lush green plants with big rubber-looking leaves. Also daisies. Lots of daisies. Other than the heat, it was a pretty nice hiking day and I’m surprised I pushed as far as I did.

That’s Lake Tahoe in the background

I’m a little worried about my overall attitude about this hike, and how unbalanced it seems to be. I keep going back and forth. I was so devastated about possibly having to end my hike due to illness, and now I’m back to feeling anxious to be done. I don’t know. I guess I’m just torn. I’m so used to this life that the thought of leaving it scares me, and yet I’m excited about my next steps, about the things I hope to tackle once I’m done hiking the PCT. I also like the idea of being in great physical shape once I finally reach the northern terminus. 

On the other hand, two more months of this seems like a lifetime. It’s supposed to be easier now, theoretically, but at the moment I’m back to dealing with desert-like heat. That alone makes me want to be done with this. Maybe I should just skip up to Oregon? No. That’d be too much. I already skipped about 100 miles and am feeling like a cheater. If I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do it well. Maybe not perfect, but at least as well as I can. 

At the moment, I am camping alone. I wanted to pitch my tent where I’d have a view of Lake Tahoe but there weren’t many spots on the ridge with a good view that also wasn’t being battered by the wind. So I found a mostly flat spot in the woods. I don’t mind. I’m inside my tent anyway so there’s not much to see. I wanted to get into Truckee tomorrow. If I can make it to the trailhead by late morning, I can hitch into town and hit up the Thai buffet everyone keeps talking about in Guthooks!

I decided I needed to look at this hike like a long run. Don’t focus on the finish line. Focus on smaller goals. Daily mileage. The next town stop. My bigger goal will be the halfway point of the PCT. That’s my first finish line. Canada will be the second. I can do this.

Cooking dinner in my tent to avoid mosquitos. This must be done with extreme caution to avoid setting your tent on fire.

Published by rogerssj23

I'm a long-distance hiker, an audiobook producer, and an amateur writer. I live in the woods in a renovated 1972 Airstream with my Golden Retriever Zoe. Read more about my hiking adventures at sarahhikes.com.

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