I wake up early today because I need to stop in Tahoe City to get some snacks. It’s 8 miles into town and I arrive by 9:30, hit up the grocery store and am back on the trail by 10:30 - sooner than expected. There is nothing in town that calls to me more than the trail. As the day warms up, I find myself in Ward Canyon, a place I can only describe as lower in elevation than I’d like to be. It’s brushy with little to offer in terms of inspiring views. I try to stop for a break once during the 2000-foot climb back up to the rim, but there are too many flies. So I just keep climbing. At the top I collapse in some shade and realize that I’m almost at the junction with the PCT and this gives me all kinds of feelings. Moments later I’m cruising down the PCT wondering where exactly on the trail I am. It winds along the edge of a mountain for miles, and I don’t recognize a foot of it. Suddenly, I round a bend and know exactly where I am. This is where I’d planned to camp. A ‘great campsite’ according to all my sources. This is where I’d planned to camp tonight but also the second night of my trip in 2015. And in 2015 I took one look at it and decided to keep going. Something about it just didn’t feel right. So tonight I do the same. There’s something about being compelled to keep moving forward that feels more valuable than slowing down sometimes.
I find a perfect spot that passes the gut-check several miles later and happily settle down for the night.
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