On the return trip, I passed by the hikers from Mexico again. I stopped to chat with them for a few minutes before continuing back to my car. I also passed by the high schooler. If you’re curious about his progress up the rock face: he had climbed up it even farther and was now enjoying the view.
In total, I did a grand 1.2 miles of the PCT. Small time, considering its massively amazing length, but hey! I did it! I felt like I’d accomplished at least a little something. That’s good, right?
Combined with the warm weather and trail terrain (say that ten times fast), I was fairly hot and sweaty once I arrived back at the Summit Haus. Gross. Good thing I had bought a travel-sized, deliciously scented deodorant. I dabbed some on when I thought no one was looking.
Why not get something cold to eat and/or drink to cool me down? In addition to the deodorant?
Might as well. The AC in my car was on the fritz and I needed something to help the process along. So, cold something to consume it was.
Of course, I wasn’t exactly watching where I was going, so focused was I on the tables and chairs and café in front of me. I didn’t see the roped barrier until I’d run into and nearly tripped over it.
I sheepishly glanced around. The only person who saw (I hope) was Bird Watcher from earlier. I could see a smirk playing at the corners of his mouth.
“That’ll teach me to look where I’m going,” I said with a laugh.
I glanced to my left. There was the entrance, sans rope. Teach me where to look, indeed.
I ended up buying a watermelon popsicle. I sat down a few seats away from Bird Watcher and we chatted while I nipped away at it. It was like a block of ice at first but due to the outside temperature, it softened up pretty quickly.
“Long time no see,” he said.
“Hah, yeah.” I took a bite of the popsicle. “When is the rest of your group meeting up?”
“We were supposed to meet here a couple hours ago; but they were taking forever so I just quit and walked on ahead.”
We talked for a bit longer up until my now-mostly-finished popsicle tumbled to the ground. As cool as I now felt, and cooler still though I wanted to be, I wasn’t desperate enough to wash off the dirt with warm water and continue nibbling. I picked it up, mournful gaze awash on my features, and tossed it in the closest trashcan. So long, friend.
After the popsicle incident, I departed the Summit Haus. I had a couple more places I wanted to stop at: the Donner Summit Bridge and the Native American petroglyph site.
Maybe I should have left my walking shoes on, but I opted to change back into my flipflops. My poor feet were able to feel the breezy outdoors once again.
I parked at the Donner Lake Overlook. I didn’t stick around here for very long; I just wanted to check out the bridge.
The Donner Summit Bridge has another name: the Rainbow Bridge. Before it was built, visitors and people who lived here had to take either the train or a windier, more dangerous route along the historic Lincoln Highway. When cars became more popular in the 1920s, that created a need for a better route from Truckee and on down the mountain. Interesting, right?
I think so.
There was a family with a small dog. I smiled at the little pup as I passed them by; it barked a couple times at me but otherwise focused on the fascinating cement walkway it sat on. There was a viewing area you could get to if you followed the path at the eastern end of the parking lot, and I followed this to its end where a placard was, giving a bit of history of the bridge.
A little further down Donner Pass Road was the Native American petroglyph site. Walking around this area was a little tricky in flipflops and the moment I started, I wish I had put on my walking shoes. But the history of the site more than made up for this: Images carved into the rock hundreds of years ago.
Naturally, I used google to find out more information about this site. As would anyone else. I learned there was a tribe of Native Americans, called the Martis Tribe, who once lived in this area until roughly 500AD. No one knows where they went afterward, but they left these indications of their presence.
Writing this and the previous post, I got to wondering something. See, I love hiking. Being outdoors. That kind of thing. And I am honestly curious: Do you guys like hiking? What sorts of places do you guys like to go?