Day 68: mile 1107.6 – mile 1125.7

Elevation gain: 2,342 ft

Elevation loss: 2,752 ft

Desolation Wilderness has always been an area that Link and I have wanted to explore, and it definitely did NOT disappoint! Even though we were only in it yesterday and 1/2 of today, we were treated to some of the most gorgeous lakes we have come across. It was in no way desolate, by any means, but I can understand why, with all this beauty so easily attainable. We didn’t see nearly as many people today, but still a fair number. I was “double-downed” last night because it was pretty darn chilly! Right when I start to wonder if I even need this 2nd down jacket anymore, Mother Nature says, “Yes, indeedy, you do!” I ended up taking one down off in the middle of the night, but when we left this morning at 7:15, it was still only 31 degrees! So I hiked in gloves and a down jacket until 10:30! After camping at Dicks Lake, we then walked by Fontanillis Lake which was huge and so scenic!

We had breakfast at one of the Velma Lakes, but it was super windy and cold so we didn’t stay long.

Finally we got to enjoy Richardson Lake at 12:30 when we stopped for lunch. Another really pretty one! Plus, we literally saw not one ant, mosquito, or fly. It was the strangest thing…I have no idea why. Especially by a Lake, in the wilderness…NO insects?? Odd, but lovely at the same time!

We only had 7 miles after lunch until we got to a spot that sounded good to possibly camp…”amazing views” someone had said on Guthook. When we were almost to Barker Pass, WE SAW OUR 2nd BEAR!!! With the stream noise, he obviously couldn’t hear us, and we must’ve been down wind so he couldn’t smell us either. He was about 75 yards away and super busy eating something in the bushes so all we could see was his behind until Link turned on his camera. One beep was all it took and he immediately turned around and stood on his hind legs to check out the noise. We had never seen a bear do that before and I have to say it was pretty intimidating! He stood like that for a good 10 seconds before he realized we were human, turned and ran up the hill. I stopped and started the video, that’s why there are 2…I know he looks far away, though, but hopefully you can get the idea. REALLY, REALLY COOL!!!

If that had been a deer, from that distance, they would’ve looked at us and then continued eating unless we started walking toward them. I’m so glad these bears are scared of humans, but it is strange that they are SO much more scared than the deer. Even though we don’t have the bear cans anymore, we always hang our food in the odorless Opsak bag and then in the Ursak bear bags because as the saying goes, “A fed Bear is a dead bear”…we would never want to be part of the reason why bears associate humans with food, that’s for sure! We do know hikers who choose to have their food with them in their tent and that seems pretty dangerous as well! 😳

We were also treated to so many different wildflowers along the trail today. The snow has melted, and now it’s definitely beginning to be wildflower season…gorgeous!

The last climb of the day was up to the tent site with beautiful views and Meadows on the way.

We made it to the site by 4:30 and on most days, this would’ve been too early to stop. It had only been 18.1 miles, but we saw the beautiful views, no mosquitoes, and said…”this looks great!”. We also can’t get too far ahead since Link’s parents are meeting us at Donner Pass in 2 days, so we will be enjoying this view tonight!

Lake Tahoe looks like a small ocean!
Pretty nice dinner spot

Thanks for all your kind words and support, as always, guys! Double Down