Wednesday, June 14

PCT miles 1092.27 (Echo Lakes Chalet) to 1095.99 (Tamarack Lakes Trailhead) and back

I’m back on the PCT!!! At least for a day.

My leave of absence from work has morphed into a separation, so what’s a guy to do?  Go hiking, that’s what, and on the PCT ’cause my permit is still valid!

My friend Dana has a place just 1 mile away from the Echo Lakes Trailhead, so we did a dayhike to see the conditions for ourselves.

Lower Echo Lake is clear of ice and the PCT along the North shore has only a few patches of snow

    It was a beautiful day in the Sierras, especially given that it snowed 2+ inches just a few days ago!

    Upper Echo Lake has patches of snow (and pretty much every lake North on the PCT is completely frozen)

    It was nice to return to the Desolation Wilderness – this is such a special place!  Note that I am wearing my official PCT garb!  (Except that floppy hat is from my JMT trip 2 years ago)

    In many places it is hard to distinguish trail from stream as the snow melt is on!

    We started running into steeper snow fields as we hiked up towards 7800 feet elevation.

    We decided to turn around at the Tamarack Lake trail because the trail was all snow and we need to get back in time for dinner.

    The spring is late here, so there are only a few flowers in bloom…  Yellow Cinquefoil 


    And this one whose name I’m not sure of

    The snowmelt runoff is a boon for the mosses and ferns though 

    On the way back I ran into an Italian couple hiking the PCT – they exited at Horseshoe Meadows and jumped north to Tahoe.  This is a great section, even in the snow!  I wish them the best of weather and luck!

    We also encountered a very rare sight just off the trail and up a ways: a Sierra Flamingo in full mating plumage.

    So, now I have to return, again, to the other world of (finding) work, bills and schedules.  

    Wish me luck!

    Thanks for reading!

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