PCT Day 73: Scrabble War 

​June 22, 2017 

South Lake Tahoe 

Here we go again. Woke up. Ate cereal for breakfast in the hostel kitchen (which may or may not have been followed up with a chocolate chip cookie). Decided to play a casual game of Scrabble, which turned into an all out war ending with every tile on the board and a 5-point difference in score. I lost, even though I began the game with a 70 point lead, but we don’t need to talk about that (but apparently Gummies needs to talk about it, so if you want the full account, go check out his blog post).

Walked to McDonald’s for lunch, which was overrun with cheerleaders and bickering children, and the soft serve machine was broken (of course). Napped the afternoon away, then made fried rice for dinner. After dinner we watched a movie, and then decided to walk down to the beach. The sun had already set, but the view across the lake was still incredibly beautiful. I’m definitely so ready to start living outside again. 

Speaking of getting back on the trail, the few of you who have managed to endure the mind-numbing monotony of these vacation posts will be pleased to know that things will soon be back in motion. Tomorrow, Cougar and Dr. McDirty will be making their way into town, and we’ll be going to stay with them at their cousin’s place for a couple of days. A change of scenery will definitely be nice after living at this hostel for a week, and I’m so excited to see our friends again. Plus it will be really nice to spend some time in an actual house. We’re planning to get back on to the trail on Monday, and I absolutely can not wait. 

PCT Day 72: Masterchef Lake Tahoe 

​June 21, 2017 

South Lake Tahoe 

I’m so sorry everyone. Today’s post will detail yet another day in South Lake Tahoe spent doing absolutely nothing. Woke up and went back to the Driftwood Cafe for breakfast since we were still out of groceries. Almost succeeded in devouring two huge pancakes, two eggs, and an entire avocado, but ended up being defeated by the final pancake yet again. I stand firm that if I had actually spent the last week hiking, that breakfast would have gotten wrecked. 

After breakfast, we headed back to the grocery store to stock up for our last couple of days in the hostel. We actually made plans to make meals that involve legitimate cooking, so that was pretty exciting. After completing the exhausting task that is grocery shopping, we napped for several hours (as is the traditional way to spend an afternoon in South Lake Tahoe, if you’re us). 

Following our nap, I was coerced into playing a game of ping pong, in which I was completely and utterly destroyed. We then made a delicious dinner of eggplant fettuccine, with French bread and oil. It felt really good to actually cook a meal again after so long eating dehydrated crap and restaurant food. I’ve been starting to feel pretty lazy and a bit apathetic during our stay in town, so doing something productive like cooking felt great. Plus, the food was delicious. After dinner, I got to chat with my little brother for a while, which was really nice, and then it was time for bed. Stay tuned for more incredibly interesting South Lake Tahoe adventures, tomorrow. 

PCT Day 71: Same Story, Different Day 

​June 20, 2017 

South Lake Tahoe 

These vacation blog posts are all starting to blend together into one giant tale of eating and napping. Today played out much like yesterday. Dragged ourselves out of bed at a leisurely pace, headed to Starbucks for caffeine, ate breakfast. We went for another run to the beach and back, although my legs were protesting vehemently as I neglected to stretch after the previous day’s run. The running did feel super good after I got into a rhythm and my leg muscles warmed up a bit. And the beach was lovely again. 

Mid-run beach break 

When we got back, we went back to the taco place down the street for the classic post-run meal, and then back to the hostel for the classic post-taco nap. The hostel sells dollar beers, so after our nap we indulged in some cheap alcohol while watching Family Guy. Super classy. We ran out of groceries today, so we went out to get pizza for dinner, then returned to the hostel to drink more cheap beer and watch Cool Runnings. All in all a pretty good day.  

If you ever find yourself in South Lake Tahoe, go to Super Taco. You will not be disappointed. 

PCT Day 70: Beach Runs, Tacos, and Naps 

​June 19, 2017 

South Lake Tahoe 

Yet another relaxing day in South Lake Tahoe. Laid in bed for a while, went to the kitchen to get cereal, then headed over to Starbucks to get some caffeine. I was incredibly tired yesterday and realized it was probably due to the fact that I didn’t drink any coffee all day… Guess the addiction is back, whoops. 

At Starbucks, we got to video chat with Cougar and Dr. McDirty, and started discussing plans for our return to the trail. It sounds like they’ll be in Tahoe later this week, and we may just wait here for them instead of trying to get over to San Francisco. Our tentative date for getting back on trail is next Monday, exactly a week from today, and our hope is to get back on from right here in Tahoe, but we’ll play it by ear as the week goes on. It does feel good to have some sort of plan. 

When we got back from Starbucks, we decided to go for a run to the beach and back. We’re trying to keep at least somewhat active here, so we don’t go completely insane. It felt super weird to be running again after over 2 months, but my body eventually got back into the rhythm of it and it felt super good. The beach was lovely, and much less crowded now that the weekend was over. We stopped for a swim in the lake once we reached the beach, and the water was cold but felt sooo good. Swimming in a lake with a view of snow-capped mountains across the water was a pretty cool feeling. The run was about 8k in total, which isn’t bad for someone who hasn’t run in a couple months (and someone who recently recovered from pulmonary edema…). I know we’re in good shape from all the hiking, but running really is an entirely different beast. 

We were starving when we got back, so we wandered down the street to this little outdoor taco shop to get food. The tacos were sssoooo good. When we got back to the room, we passed out hard for a couple of hours, exhausted from the run. Getting back on trail will definitely be interesting. I realized this evening that the last day I did any hiking was exactly a week ago, and we still have another week ahead of us. It’ll definitely take a few days to get our trail legs back under us. 

This evening, we made a pizza for dinner, did some laundry and watched another movie. Another crazy night here in South Lake Tahoe. 

PCT Day 69: The Vacation Continues 

​June 18, 2017 

South Lake Tahoe 

I’m going to apologize in advance for the fact that these “vacation” blog posts are going to be a hell of a lot less interesting than posts from the trail. Our days usually consist of some activity that takes up a few hours, and then a lot of napping and eating. It’s such a shift from the daily grind of the trail, and it’s nice to get this time to just relax after all that happened in the last section. I’m sure we’ll be itching to get back on trail before too long though. 

Today, we got up at a leisurely time, ate some cereal for breakfast, and headed over to rent some bikes. There’s a nice bike path through town that goes through the pine forest and leads to a couple of different beaches. We rode over to the furthest beach that we hadn’t made it to yet, which of course, was quite crowded. But we were able to cool off with slushies and ice cream before biking back, which was nice. 

When we got back, we cooked dinner in the hostel kitchen, which is a nice luxury to have. Being hikers, we’re still in the habit of putting together bizarre combinations of food for meals, so dinner tonight was a stir fry with bananas and more cereal on the side. So weirdly good. After dinner we watched a movie and then went to bed. The relaxation is real. 

PCT Day 68: Let The Vacation Begin 

​June 17, 2017 

South Lake Tahoe 

Today was the first real day of vacation from the trail. We had nowhere to be and nothing to do, which felt strange but pretty nice. We stayed in bed late, then eventually headed out to grab some amazing huevos rancheros nachos for breakfast. Sooo good. We hit up the nearby grocery store to stock up on supplies for the next few days, so we can avoid blowing our entire hike budget in restaurants. Back at the hostel, we napped away the rest of the morning. The vacation was off to a good start. 

We eventually decided to head over to the beach. The one closest to the hostel was extremely crowded, but the lake was beautiful. We stood in the water for a bit before deciding to move on and try to find a slightly less tourist-infested beach area. We ended up walking a few miles over the state line into Nevada, and ended up on a walking/bike path through a nice pine forest that dumped us out right on another beach. There were still a lot of people, but it was a lot nicer than the first beach. We video chatted Cougar from the beach, and it was really nice getting to catch up with her. I really miss her and Dr. McDirty. Hopefully we will get to see them again soon. 

After eating dinner at the hostel, we headed over to a nearby movie theatre to see Wonder Woman. It had been a while since I’d been to a movie theatre so that was pretty fun. Plus the movie was awesome. It still feels weird to just stay in one place and engage in “normal” activities. We’re still kind of on trail time, so we passed out as soon as we got home from the movie, even though the rest of the world was just getting their Saturday night started. Ah, vacation. 

PCT Day 67: On The Road 

​June 16, 2017 

Bishop – South Lake Tahoe 

Slept in this morning, knowing we had some errands to run around town and that nothing would be open until 9. Eventually headed over to the coffeeshop to get some delicious bagel sandwiches and set about trying to find information on transit to South Lake Tahoe. Plans promptly changed when we found out that the only bus running to Tahoe had left at 7:30 that morning, while we were still in bed, and since it was Friday, there wouldn’t be another bus until Monday. Well then. 

We finished up with town chores, got our stuff packed up, and made our hitchhiking signs. The adventure was on. South Lake Tahoe is about a 175 mile drive from Bishop, which takes over 3 hours, so we were anticipating having to make the trip in a series of hitches, possible even spanning over a couple of days. We stood at the edge of town with our signs, which elicited smiles and laughs from many drivers and passersby, although none of them stopped to offer us a ride. But then, by some miracle, after only standing there for probably less than 30 minutes, a woman in a car pulled over and said, “You’re going to Tahoe? I can take you. As long as you’re not serial killers or something.” 

I swear we have some magical hitch hiking powers. We had somehow secured a ride straight to Tahoe in one shot, a 3 hour drive that would have taken 9 hours by bus. It was meant to be. Our saviour was a woman named Sandra from Austria, who was travelling around the American west for about a month. The drive was pretty beautiful, with a little bit of everything, from views of the snowy Sierra, to tall pine forests, to huge lakes and rushing rivers and crazy rock formations. We even got dropped off right at Mellow Mountain Hostel, where we were planning to stay. Thank you, Sandra!!! 

The hostel is pretty cool, it’s converted from an old motel but all the rooms have bunk beds now. We settled in, and then set off to find food, having not had anything to eat on the drive but some Twizzlers. The town is pretty overwhelming. It’s definitely the biggest town we’ve been in yet, and it’s a summer weekend, so the place is pretty well overrun with tourists. It’s a total tourist trap and money suck. We ate at a crowded pizza place for dinner, which was packed with overly loud families on vacation. It was pretty hard for my brain to process, leaving me worried about my eventual transition back into civilization after this whole adventure is over. Maybe I should just live in the woods forever. The pizza was freaking delicious though. 

We headed straight back to the hostel after dinner to collapse into bed. We are currently booked to stay 5 nights in this hostel, and I’m not sure what will happen after that. Hopefully we will eventually be making our way over to San Francisco. We’re already trying to come up with ways to occupy ourselves here without breaking the bank. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know. Tomorrow: the beach.