Day 123 – From Big Lake Youth Camp to tentsite, mile 2017

Aug 21.


After we packed up our tents after breakfast we ran into the same ultra runner support crew from yesterday again. And they had not forgotten us hungry hikers either… They offered to share their breakfast leftovers – potatoes fried in coconut oil, bacon, apple slices. Hmmm!

Well fed we started hiking – excited about the 2000 miles marker waiting for us in just a couple of miles.

2000 miles at 9am. An important milestone. Disbelief. Relief. Happiness. Time and miles are flying by. Exactly 4 months on trail.

Tempus fugit.

We took several photos and continued hiking until the 10 mile break around 11am.

At mile 2008 at Koko Lake it was time for the lunch break at 1.45pm – also time for a nap.

Tough Thruhiker Life

We continued on around 3pm until the next water break at Rockpile lake at mile 2012. With no water at the planned campsite on a ridge, we took some extra with us.

Continued to a campsite without water but nice views on Mt Jefferson, mile 2017.



Day 122 – From tentsite to Big Lake Youth Camp, mile 1995

Aug 20.

It got more and more cold – had breakfast in tent. The trail had been smokey since days – the sky looked really hazy. We were on trail at 7am heading into more lava fields.

I loved the landscape, even though it was windy and difficult to walk. It reminded me in some regards of the Sierra – but most of it looked just alien, like from a different world.

We took a longer break with cellphone coverage at a lake – I had my coffee and booked a place in Cascade Locks, the gateway into Washington.

A highway crossing was coming – a chance for trail magic. But no luck. A bit disappointed, we took a break right next to the street and had some snacks. After a few minutes, a pickup stopped and two men got out. They wanted to know if the crossing trail was indeed the Pacific Crest Trail. We learned that they were father and a friend of a trail runner attempting an Oregon crossing on the PCT. After some chat, they offered  sodas and bars which we happily accepted. The trail provides… 🙂

At the end of the lava fields, I came to a crossing of the trail. With the trail so evenly splitting, it reminded me of one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both…
Robert Frost – The Road not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
We finally got out of the lava fields and headed towards our next resupply stop, the Big Lake Youth Camp short before mile 2000.

We arrived at 5.30pm at the youth camp. Surprisingly nobody from the camp was around – they were obviously on a break. But the PCT designated hut was populated with hikers. We helped ourselves to a shower, laundry, picked up our resupply boxes and ate some dinner from the hiker box.

Around 9pm we left cleaned up and with devices charged, walked a while to a designated camping area, mile 1995.

Day 120 – From Bobby Lake to Cliff Lake, mile 1942

Aug 18.


Cold morning, so we got a bit later start at 7.15am. Bobby Lake offered spectacular views with the rising of the sun.

We saw signs from an ultra trail run (100km) and ran into a station shortly after. We chatted with the people there and got some trail magic… Got some snacks and moved on.

I love banana

We took water at 7 miles in at Charlton lake but continued on without break. We needed to reduce our breaks to make more miles. We planned to filter in another two miles where cellphone reception was expected. We did some online ordering for gear replacement at Amazon and REI.

Today we ran into Pinecone, Medicine Man and Sharpshooter a couple of times.

Next stop at Stormy Lake at 2.15pm. Took a bath and thoroughly washed, had lunch and relaxed.

Stormy Lake – Perfect for swimming

Just before leaving, Crumbs showed up. Some smalltalk, then we left.


Arrived at a tentsite above Cliff Lake at 7.15pm. Pitched the tents, got dinner and slept before nightfall.

Day 113 – From tentsite to tentsite, mile 1765

Aug 11.


Got up 5.15am, started hiking 6.15am. The smoke has its advantages – with the early sunlight, it creates beautiful photo opportunities.

We completed 10 miles by 10am, took a break to get new water.

Pushing on, we had 16.5 miles done before the lunch break at 1pm. In the afternoon finally a change in landscape! I had seen trees and trees and trees since weeks – Northern California and the South of Oregon had been very similar so far. I am excited to see first volcanic rocks – Oregon will offer much more of that.

Around 5pm, we crossed a highway and met two hiker offering some trail magic out of their rental car. They had decided to skip Oregon – and to make up for that, they were doing trail magic with sodas and snacks – much appreciated! 🙂

Camped at 6.45pm at mile 1765 with 26 miles done. Doing a good job with a planned daily 25+ miles.

Day 77 – From Tentsite via Hwy15 crossing to South Lake Tahoe, mile 1090

July 6.

Got on trail around 7.15am. Tinkle was suddenly pushing to make it to highway 15 and with that to South Lake Tahoe today instead of tomorrow… With just 18 miles left after yesterday’s push to 24 miles…

The morning was surprising with a cloud cover. A new sight… Some clouds even looked dark enough for rain.

We are not alone… Deer tracks on trail

Just after 4 miles, we made it to Carson pass and with that to our next trail magic.

Free sodas and fruit at Carson pass visitor info

Continuing on, the trail got steep downhill for the last 4-5 miles to the highway crossing. We were hit by a few drops of rain!

Right at the highway parking, we ran into the trail magic of CopperTone – a former through hiker who now lives in his expedition mobile as traveling trail angel. Thanks to CopperTone I experienced my first root beer float – vanilla ice cream and root beer – a perfect refreshment after the 18 miles on a warm day. Thank you! We got a ride into South Lake Tahoe from a nice lady whose son is currently hiking the PCT.

First stop was Basecamp pizza – as PCT hiker, you get a free pizza, pasta or salad there… Wow. Like three times magic on one day.

During the hike, Tinkle and I had agreed on another shakedown tomorrow morning… We are excited about increasing the daily mileage… Whatever it takes.

Two zero days in South Lake Tahoe. We will be back on trail with Cactass on Monday. 235 miles to the PCT midpoint.

Day 75 – From Tentsite to Small Sherrold Lake, mile 1049

July 4.

Started hiking at 7.20am.

Short break for an energy bar in a meadow full of flowers around 10.30am.

Lunch break at 12pm with Tinkle but without Cactass – she wants to push further. Wolf Creek at mile 1039.

Plan is to camp at mile 1049 Small Sherrold Lake – that would make it a 21 miles day – the first 20+ since entering the Sierra about a month ago. But I start feeling the pressure… Nearly three months on trail, but the midpoint still is 200+ miles out. Still believing in the Oregon wonder… 😉 After the midpoint at 1325 miles, many hikers increased their mileage significantly due to the flat land in Northern California and Oregon…

Caught up with Cactass. We heard about trail magic at Ebbots pass. Made it there around 5.30pm. And what a trail magic! Despite of July 4th, a nice couple offered hot dogs, sodas, beer, fruit, snacks…. Best trail magic I had on trail!

With the trail angels – Thank you so much!

They also had some magic like energy bars, gear, even new socks sponsored by SNAC – thanks for the merino socks!

Had two beers there and another one to go.. our planned camp site was just another half mile out.

A nice evening with bellies full of magic, beers and sparklers for July 4th!

Day 74 – From Bridgeport via Sonora pass highway 108 crossing to tentsite, mile 1027

July 3.

Even before our breakfast in the Bridgeport Inn, we checked out a sporting goods shop next to the general store. I got a simple nylon drysack for less than 5 dollars! They had just one size, but it it just what I wanted to replace my bear can as food storage. Looks even a bit retro…

The breakfast was delicious and had an adequate big size – three scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and a cinnamon roll.

Finished packing our packs, last blog updates… Then to the post office just behind the motel to send the bear canisters away.

Tinkle and the bear cans

We walked to the end of town to find a hitch… And met Colin already trying his luck there.

Split up. Colin and Cactass first, Tinkle and myself maybe 20 min later.

Chris, a nice guy working in South Lake Tahoe gave us a ride. He works in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino! We were considering to stay there… Now knowing a guy working at the bar… For sure!

Got out at the Highway 395/108 crossing, Cactass and Colin standing there… Later a nice guy returning from his fishing trip fisherman took all four of us into his truck.

The hike started well… Trail magic! First magic since the Sierras!

Shortly after also Husk and Queso joined!

Started hiking around 3pm.

We wanted to make miles even with the late start, so we pushed on until 7pm.

The plan is 20+ miles every day until South Lake Tahoe…