PCT 2020 Day 31

Taking Time Around Tahoe

After a month’s worth of days hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail, this was to be our last full day hiking together for this round. As we neared the culmination of our trek, I think each of us was taking a bit of time to ourselves and consciously making an effort to be present in this moment. We knew we’d be heading back to “normal” life soon, whatever that might look like. And maybe that was on our minds too… trying to figure out what life away from the trail looks like for each of us.

The hiking today was pretty stellar, making our way into some of the ski resorts that surround the peaks around Lake Tahoe. Things opened up a bit. We got views of the giant lake itself. And got some nice high elevation traversing-type trail.

The trail cuts over the ridge in the picture above, but there is a short side trail around this rocky button. In 2019, I walked right by, but this time I took the side trail to get the view…

Maybe if I find myself walking this section of trail a third time, I’ll climb up top!

Cruising along up high…

Break time… the energy level was quite low at this point…

We ended up going a little further to Five Lakes Creek and found some spots to camp. Once again, there were Tahoe Rim Trail hikers, but space was tight and so we ended up on our own side of the creek sort of off by ourselves. The site wasn’t anything special, but for me, it’s a particularly memorable spot on trail.

I mention at the beginning of the post that the reality of our expedition ending seemed to hit today. I think those feelings sort of compounded throughout the day leading to a truly wonderful conversation that night. During and after dinner, each of us ended up sharing about what got us out to the PCT in the first place. For all of us, that journey in 2019 was our first major backpacking trip, and ended up being life altering. Reflecting back on those events leading up to it was sentimental and healthy for each of us I think, certainly for me. We talked for a long time and opened up more than any other time before, which I feel brought us closer.

All this led to the question, what’s next for each of us?

In hindsight, looking back on it now, that’s what a lot of this 2020 trek was… I was still learning about myself and contemplating what different paths might look like for my future. It was so helpful to have my friends to sort through those ideas with. In the first post for this 2020 trip, I wrote that this was to be, “a chance to get away for some self-care, but also a form of meditation and an opportunity to reflect on what’s important to us and how we might act within the messiness of the world.”

How might we act in a way to bring about good, to make some positive change, in the messiness of this world. Events leading up to July 2020 were some of the most messy and eye-opening of my life. I didn’t have all the answers then, about what exactly I wanted to do, and maybe that’s something I’m never going to know… but I had a direction. I was looking at my self, my skills, abilities, passions, and thinking of ways that I could be part of something bigger.

I remember thinking in my tent that night, how thankful I was for this time. It’s such a rare thing in our society to have time. To reflect, to mull things over, and to simply just pause and not do. The next day, we’d only have a short hike in the morning to the spot where Calzone had left the PCT, the spot that would end our 2020 adventure. I planned to let these big picture ideas settle, enjoy this last stretch with my friends, and who knows… maybe I’d find a way to extend this trip just a little longer? Maybe, just maybe, our path would still cross with our good pal Snickers’!?

Still working on adding these 2020 posts…

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