July 17th
Echo Lake/South Lake Tahoe(1094.5)-Phipps Creek(1114.7)
Today’s Mileage: 20.2mi

Today was the day I’ve needed for awhile. I am finally in an area without high stream crossing or dangerous snow. I no longer need to hike with a large group and I get to hike solo! I’m sure I’ll overlap with other hikers throughout the day or at camp, but I’m really excited to have my own schedule for awhile and just hike how I want to hike. I stopped many times to tie my shoe and take pictures today, and didn’t have to run to catch up with anyone. I even got to use the bathroom as much as I wanted without holding up a group. The novelty of it may wear off after awhile, but I loved it today!

I started off the day with a drive into South Lake Tahoe to return the rental car and drop Little Jimmy off in town for more zeros to heal his shin splints. I needed a ride back to the trail and luckily, I had my own personal trail angel in the area! Yesterday, I got a message from Chandra, who had randomly picked me up when I was hitching a ride out of Tuolumne Meadows. She lives in the area and offered to help me out if needed. She was able to give me a ride back to the trail and even hiked in with me at Echo Lake. Her dog Ruby joined us too. It was a great way to start this leg. Thanks Chandra!

Today was a gorgeous day. Many lakes and great views along the trail. The only bummer was that 80% of the day was spent in mushy slippery snow. I was really surprised that there was still that much snow, but I was glad to be able to still do a 20mi day.

It was a rocky and snowy area that my ankle very much disliked.
It was really great scenery to walk along the lakes.

Then I went up Dick’s Pass and the views of each side were great!

When I got to where I wanted to camp, Drop-n-Roll and Ninja were there and that was really nice. I can camp alone, but I prefer to have other hikers at camp. It makes me feel safer to have other people around at night. It was also my first night with only females at camp. It was theirs too and it was nice to spend time with them. I had briefly overlapped with them in the Sierras, but never really talked with them til tonight. I hope we overlap more in the future. Tomorrow, I’m excited to set my alarm and get up at my own time and pace. It’s nice to not have others who I have to be ready and on time for. Being solo, if I wake up earlier, or feel like sleeping more, I can. It feels so great to just do me for awhile. Now we just need to get rid of the pesky snow. Loving it! Yay!

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