Sunday, September 6th, 2020
Well this is embarrassing. In more ways than one. Given the poor condition of my stomach due to heat exhaustion, I had to poop in the middle of the night. I made the amateur mistake of not taking my phone with me. I now had no GPS and found myself completely disoriented in the dark. I was lost and I felt incredibly stupid.
I didn’t want to make the potentially fatal mistake of wandering further and further from the trail, so I circled the same area over and over. The trail was nowhere in sight. I tried yelling for Frisbee, hoping he wasn’t in a deep sleep. This accomplished nothing.
Over and over again, I selected a centralized location. Then I’d take 10-15 steps away from it, being sure to never lose sight of where I came from. Then, over and over again I’d retrace my steps back to where I was. I kept reminding myself to remain calm, and accepted the fact that I was likely going to be there until daylight. My headlamp battery wasn’t going to last forever. I gave it one more try and after over an hour had passed, I spotted the trail and found my way back. I lashed out on Frisbee for not wondering where I had been that whole time. In reality, I wasn’t mad at him at all. I was actually just really pissed off at myself. But you live and learn.
In the morning, the sky was discolored, but not as yellow as it was yesterday. However, our gear was covered in a layer of ash. We had a mellow stroll around Showers Lake before we got back to Highway 50. We were hiking back into South Lake Tahoe, this time we were going to explore the downtown area. We got a hitch from a super spaced out girl who told us about her temporary job cleaning houses for her friend. Her friend was recovered from a hysterectomy, and would lose her clientele if she didn’t have someone fill in for her, which was nice. I’m pretty sure she had eaten some mushrooms (the magical kind), before picking us up though.
My appetite was back, well, sort of. I ate some Chinese food then we all went to suck up some WiFi outside of Whole Foods. To save some money, we walked down the street to resupply at Raley’s instead. There were way too many humans in South Lake for our liking! Not exactly ideal during the time of COVID, especially in a state with one of the highest rates of positive cases!
We passed some methheads and a bunch of abandoned rental scooters before getting water at Subway. Then we went around the corner to stick out our thumbs. A girl from Vermont who now resided in California, picked us up and took us to the trail after dropping off her friend and her dog. She had hiked the John Muir Trail and could deduce we were hikers, not homeless people. The next stretch of trail was a no-camping zone since it was mostly residential land. We decided to sleep a little ways off the trail near mile 120.6 close to the road. We’d cover more ground tomorrow.
10.0 miles (16.1 km)
Jump Ahead to The Tahoe Rim Trail: Part 8
Jump Back to The Tahoe Rim Trail: Part 6
Start from the Beginning: The Tahoe Rim Trail: Part 1