Day 1

Friday September 7, 2012    [24 miles]

I slept pretty well, although it got fairly cold at night. I woke up at 5:40am, packed up, loaded my car, and drove 5 minutes up to the actual trailhead. I took off (headed clockwise of the trail) hiking at 6:30am, right around sunrise. I got to the PCT junction around 8:30am. I didn’t see anyone until a couple of guys at Showers Lake and a few dayhikers before Echo Summit. I got to Echo Summit at 12:30pm, way ahead of schedule, and was able to make a phone call to my wife. I continued on, arriving at Echo Lake around 1:30pm. I had eaten far too many prunes in the morning and my stomach was not very happy about it. Lesson learned. I left the crowded Echo Lake resort area at 2:15pm and couldn’t believe how many dayhikers were on the trail for the next several miles. I had asked an employee at Echo Lake resort if there was any water and the jerk just pointed to the lake, then lied and said they didn’t have a faucet. Avoid this place. Anyway, I should have filled up from the lake, but I instead thought I would fill up once I reached the end of the second Echo Lake. It turned out that my map wasn’t super accurate, and I hadn’t realized how far off the trail the lake was, so I ran out of water temporarily. I kept on hiking, passing where I had planned to camp. My feet and legs felt fine, but my stomach was really bothering me from the prunes mistake, and I had to make unpleasant pit stops. I pressed on to Lake Aloha, and at around 5pm, finally filled up on its water. I had a brief moment of questioning why I was hiking alone and contemplating bailing out once I reached Tahoe City. I decided to cook couscous at Lake Aloha and ended up deciding to stay the night there. I washed my feet in the lake, setup my shelter in one of the few places around, and sat on a scenic rock until around 7:45pm, when I retreated to sleep.