Today my goal was to reach South Lake Tahoe, I really feel like I need to get to town and dry out my feet. My secondary goal was to get to town before the post office closes so I can get my new shoes which should be waiting there for me.
I knew it was 16.8 miles from our camp to the place where it is best to hitch to South Lake Tahoe. Normally this would mostly be sufficient to calculate how long it would take to hike there. However the conditions lately have been so unpredictable that it is very difficult to calculate hiking times.
So in order to try and make sure I would make it I got started hiking at 0430 which I think is the earliest I have started so far. I started hiking with my headlamp on and had really good conditions. I did encounter a few snow patches but nothing that caused issues.
I eventually reached a big meadow before the final climb of the day. This meadow was quite wet and muddy but again nothing that slowed me down in any way. By now I was starting to get my hopes up that conditions would be good for the rest of the day.
Then as I started the final climb everything was filled with snow. This slowed me down greatly but navigation was still quite easy so I could mostly keep moving.
As I reached the top of the climb and the flat section after the top this changed. Suddenly I was in a big flat forest covered in snow. The footprints were impossible to follow and I had to use GPS constantly to keep on the right path.
Eventually I did find the footprints again but I had to constantly spend a lot of time on navigation.
As I started the descent properly I came upon a steep snow covered slope and the only way I could see of getting down was glissading.
Once I got a bit further down the conditions improved a lot and I was finally able to move very quickly.
I had hoped to have service at the trailhead so I could call an Uber instead of hitching but I had no service so I had to hitch. Luckily it only took about 20 minutes to get a hitch all the way to the post office. I actually got there before it opened. As it opened I got my package with new shoes.
After this I went to Dennys to get some food and research hotel options. Regardless of the hotel it was going to be expensive since the first night would be a weekend night. I ended up staying at Holiday Inn Express for 2 or 3 nights I am still not quite sure. The room is nice and the WiFi seems fast.
For dinner I went to the casino buffet at Harrah's, it was very delicious but now I think I am in a food coma.
The weather was really good all day and it made the annoying conditions more tolerable.
Tomorrow I will buy my resupply for the stretch from South Lake Tahoe and the package I will be sending to Sierra City. In the evening I will meet up with Avocado to have dinner and watch the new Star Wars movie to celebrate the end of the Sierra and hopefully less snow in the future.