Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 153: Aloha!

Day 153, 9/8/14
1102 to 1084
18.6 miles

When it started raining at 4 AM, I got so excited.  Clouds had arrived!  Yay!  Maybe there would be an exciting sunrise.  I got so super excited I almost just started hiking.  But my sunrise watching destination, Lake Aloha, was only another mile away so I didn't want to get there too early and freeze in the rain.  So, up went the tarp and I caught a little more sleep.

Climbing up the trail a few hours later, the storm clouds swirled dramatically.  My excitement was building as I waited to see how the light would shine through.  Then, well, I don't have words to describe the beauty of the sunrise over Lake Aloha. 
Yes this is real.
This happened.
And then this too.
Finally it got grey.
Bob was already there watching the sunrise.  In that awesome way that connections happen on the PCT, we met and watched the amazing sunrise together until dark storm clouds rolled in and it started to rain.  Then we hiked on.

Bob is a southbounder and it was interesting hearing about his experiences outside of the more mainstream northbound hiker culture.  For example, southbounder don't tend to have trail names, and Bob had hiked the entire trail alone.  He also is a composer and just finished his thesis on music and long distance hiking.  You can listen to some of his music here.
Rain and sun at the same time.
Echo Lake store was closed for the season when we got there.  This was disappointing because we'd heard good things about the food there from northbound hikers.  Bob got a hitch into town, and I continued on another 10 miles.
Golden afternoon.
The wind was strong and cold, so instead of camping at Showers Lake, I backtracked down below the outlet and then bushwhacked down a ravine.  Somehow managing to find a sheltered hang site a short boulder scramble up to a view all the way to Lake Tahoe.
Finding another incredible hang site.
 I walked up to a rocky outcrop for an even better view.  As I ate dessert, I could see the full moon rise and a few distant lights flicker on.  They seem so far away.
All ready for dessert and the evening show.


  1. I hiked today with a woman wearing a Showers Lake jacket. Now I get it! More great pictures Joan.

  2. Aloha lake is stunning! So glad you were able to enjoy the show. Nature is amazing!

    1. It really was incredible. One place I'll never forget.