tiffany's pct journal

California Section L: Highway 49 (Sierra City) to Donner Summit (Truckee).

Days: 76 - 80.
Dates: September 17 - 21.
Trail mileage: 1457.7 - 1499.7.
Distance: 42.0 miles.

The next morning, I was all set to be Yahtzee's shadow for the next hundred miles. We met up at the restaurant in the lodge for breakfast. That's when I learned that sometime during the night, her phone also died and wouldn't turn back on again, even though it was fine the night before! She thinks the rain killed it too, just slowly.

This was now a dilemma, because hiking with Blue didn't seem as reasonable to ask to follow around, because he can easily hike faster than me. He seemed willing to give it a go, though, and I appreciated that greatly.

After we picked up our resupply from the general store, which was now open, we didn't do a long day out of Sierra City. We were all easily-convinced to take breaks, after feeling pretty demoralized from the very tough previous day. I hated relying on someone else for navigation. I felt naked, almost, and I was terrible at gauging distance myself, so I was never totally sure if I was close to a water source or not.

hikers hiking
The days were finally getting shorter (photo credit: Kevin Scott/Blue)

By the time I reached camp that night, I had decided it was a bad idea to keep going. Another storm was coming in, and I definitely would not make it into town by then. I had shipped all of my cold weather gear to South Lake Tahoe, for the Sierra. I felt like a Search & Rescue mission waiting to happen. I decided at Donner Pass/Highway 80, I'd get a ride into Truckee and hitch down to South Lake Tahoe. I'd try my best to come back to this section later.

It was easy to get a ride into Truckee, because there's cell service on the highway, so Uber was an option. A couple in a camper van who lived on the road was kind enough to stop, and they were headed to South Lake Tahoe anyway, so it all worked out in the end. We came across a huge rainbow on the drive down, and I hoped that was a sign of good things.

I got to South Lake Tahoe a couple days before my partner was going to make it, so I was ready to crash for a few days in town. Up until South Lake Tahoe, I had only taken 4 zeroes, and I was feeling burnt out. On my first zero in town, I ran into Dave and Dani on the street, whom I hadn't seen since Hart's Pass.

I was able to get a new phone, thank goodness. I decided I would see how the weather was looking around this area when I reached the end of the Sierra. And I was able to recover a little from the burnout, after several days of sitting around doing absolutely nothing.

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