Rolling on from the previous days mileage we set off aiming for another solid 20+ day, trying to get as close as we could to the highway we’d be hitching to South Lake Tahoe from the next day. The trail wound its way along rocky ridge lines dipping in and out of woodland and snow slopes as it went, before taking us up a barren climb with lake views all around. Mule’s Ears thrived here almost as if it was a mono crop farm.
We were pushing to Carson Pass for lunch. This was a significant spot for me (Spook) as it would be were the PCT and my Dad’s cross country bike ride from many years before would cross one another and despite the time between the two it felt as if, just for that moment, we’d be doing it together.
After snowy traverses and a long descent through sparse wood, we made it to Carson Pass and alas, there was trail magic – the first in a long long time. The angels were a hikers aunt and uncle, and were provisioned with sandwiches, brownies, beer, sweets and crisps. In addition to this, the visitor centre had a plethora of goodies from drinks, jerky, chocolate, PB&J pockets and, surprisingly, cereal. We grabbed everything and enjoyed it all with a trail family outside in the sun for two hours. At this point we had done 16 miles and still had much of the day to go – feeling strong is an understatement.
Leaving the pass, we wiggled up a small climb passing numerous bewildered tourists and locals who called out support. We entered meadows and skirted lakes, the main of which was called Showers Lake, before diving back into snow clad woodlands. The snow made it hard to find camp, indirectly forcing us to do more miles, but eventually we found a small dry spot right alongside the trail. The day had been an absolute treat and left us with only 6 miles before Tahoe. It felt odd to be camping in snow once more right at the end of the Sierra’s, but what a day it had been to mark its end.