Our 100th trail day and 4th July, for a day of such celebrations it didn’t provide us with much. Leaving camp were switchbacks up a clear but rocky trail; little did we know this would be one of the few moments we’d be seeing the trail that day. Soon we found ourselves in the familiar surroundings of snow filled forest as we passed by Aloha Lake and many others in the morning. Aloha was stunning, coated in grey ice with islands and trees standing firm amongst it all.

After some descent the trial opened up again but by this point it was clear that the snow was enough to make it a slow day. We climbed up towards Dick’s Pass, passing many day and TRT (Tahoe Rim Trail) hikers coming the other way. They all warned us of snow but we were used to this by now and politely thanked them before taking it all in our stride. It was an easy Pass summit which provided views of lake filled valleys all around, including Tahoe itself.

After a summit lunch we slowly descended the steep North side munching into the afternoon hours before reaching a plateau. From here on it was the usual game of hide and seek with the trail as we slowly made our way through more snow patch forests. I was surprised with how many groups of day hikers we were coming across on their day of Independence and I couldn’t help but feel homesick thinking of holiday celebrations with the family.

We were pretty done with the trail come 5pm and agreed to cut our losses and accept a shorter day than anticipated. Around mile 16 we pitched tent near a river and under some dead pines ready to enjoy an early dinner and night. Fingers crossed the next day would be more clear.