7/19 to 7/21 Echo Lake, South Lake Tahoe, Power Outage, Package Madness

by sedona maniak

From our campsite past Carson Pass, we hiked a combined section of PCT and Tahoe Rim Trail.  Views along the rim were spectacular,  as evidenced by the popularity of the trail.   Around 9am, we reached the last thousand feet or so of a steep climb and noticed a group of 20 or more Japanese-Americans ahead of us.  They were spaced according to ability, so the first pair that we passed were an older couple who seemed to have been nominated for photography due to their position in the group.  We waited for them to snap a few photos, then chatted for a minute about the insane endeavor of the PCT.  They cheered us on.  Further ahead, we passed a few more of the group, then met the bulk at the summit.  One young man asked me if we were going from Mexico to Canada, then spoke to the group in Japanese (all I could make out was "PCT").  Suddenly the whole group erupted into rhythmic clapping and back-slapping and compliments and wishes for our success.  Very sweet and horrendously embarrassing.  We met many other day-walkers and backpackers that day, but never received even a smile from them.  The good wishes of the Tahoe Rim Japanese group carried me through all the arrogant white snobbery associated with Echo Lake.

Echo Lake isn't worth writing about, except that they mis-filed the package containing my new backpacking quilt under the name of the sender and could not figure out this mistake for two days.  In the interim,  Any Minute and I met up with Far Out, ate pizza, and stayed in a very packed city campground.  Next day, Any Minute's friends appeared and we ran errands just before a storm knocked out power all the way to Carson City.  We stayed in a hotel and used headlamps until the power returned in the middle of the night.

Back at Echo, I finally got my package, sent my bear can and old sleeping bag to Vegas, and met up with Tink and Screagle, now travelling with Pippin.  We all hiked into Desolation Wilderness that early afternoon,  camping at a small stream with a waterfall.