Distance hiked today: 12.6 miles / 20.6 km.
Then it was time: I dropped Colin off at the airport for an early morning flight back to Edmonton.
I'd said in a conversation without realizing it that I would do something "on my way home", referring to the trail. My home, for now, and whatever I have on my back. Now the trail called for me, and it was time to get some miles in.
I had to ship my insulin forward to another trail angel, drive back to South Lake Tahoe, drop off the car, get a final pint of ice cream, and hitch back to the trail. I was hitching by myself when another hiker (a guy) joined me. It's well-known that women have an easier time getting rides, so guys often try to pair up with us to increase their odds. A "ride-bride", we call it. It took 2 separate hitches to get back to trail and I had to re-walk a mile and a half since we didn't get dropped off far enough down the road, but I made it.
It was strange to be alone again. Colin didn't officially adopt a trail name, but I called him Caboose because he always walked behind me. When he went in front, he was Caboose On the Loose. I'm missing my Caboose already!
Walking by Echo Lake, a thru-hiker came by completely naked. I'd forgotten - today is the summer solstice, traditionally Hike Naked Day. A woman day-hiking passed a few minutes later, and inquired if it was normal to see "clothing optional" people here… Though confused, she seemed relieved that there was an explanation.
I got in a decent amount of miles considering my late afternoon start, passed the 1100 mile marker, and camped by a nice lake.
Total trail mileage: 1103.4 miles / 1775.5 km