Ward Creek to Tahoe City: 7.1 miles

We get up knowing it’s the last day on the trail. Initially I thought our hike may be 7-8 days. But as noted, on those intended short days, there wasn’t anyplace to camp at those locations. On this trail, the terrain that is open and flat enough for a tent is mostly near water sources. That makes sense. This is mountainous country with steeply angled mountain sides. Most of the terrain on the other side of the lake we hiked last year was more open and less steep. In general, the eastern side of the lake is more like the foothills of the mountains on the western side of the lake.

I pack as Sherman guards the perimeter. I have a thought and feeling of relief that the rest of the hike is all downhill. I check the map. So much for what I think. As you can see on the elevation map at the top, there’s a tiring uphill section before the final downhill into Tahoe City.

After a few miles we reach Page Meadows. Huge meadows. And, the top of the hill. It’s mostly downhill from here.

That dark brown area is wet.

The trail goes through the meadow on open patterned cement wall blocks. Sherman is way ahead of me sniffing out a side trail.

On the other side of the meadow, the terrain is typical of the last couple days. Small meadows and healthy pine communities.

Sherman can smell the barn. We can hear traffic.

This large stump as we are almost to town reminds me of the other 1st growth stumps scattered along the trail. This whole area was lumbered long ago. The current forest is 2nd growth. The current trees are babies compared to these stumps…

I’ve been in a couple 1st growth forests. They are different worlds. Deep silence. Deep knowing. Deep connection. Time and space are slowed down.

On the trail I give myself 2 hours a day to listen to an audiobook. This time I started listening to “The Overstory”, by Richard Powers. A fitting story for a hike in the Desolation Wilderness. One of the most impactful novels I’ve read in many years.

Sherman and I get down the hill into Tahoe City about 1pm. I try to buy some food at a restaurant on the Truckee River that runs through town into the lake. But, no dogs allowed on the deck or inside. We cross the street to a grocery store. I get a couple snacks and cold drink. Call Uber. In 10 min the Uber arrives. In 90 minutes we’re back at the Echo Lake Trailhead and the van. It takes an hour to drive back to the Best Western Stagecoach Inn we spent the night in 8 days ago.

The hiking part of the hike is over. The recovery and re-entry part are left.

One more blog entry tomorrow. A debrief and a couple stories I left out that are funny.

We sleep under the hiking quilt on a very comfortable bed. It’s a new world…