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Day Three – Kinney Lake to Upper Blue Lake

Hi There Again,

Its day three and I promised you something interesting! For today’s entry I will also be including day four. I am doing this because my journal entry for day three was quite short, and day four was a whole day off from movement or navigation so I wrote quite a bit. Nalah and I put forward the most effort on this day simply because of the terrain. 

The start of the trail was a very long and dry region of high, windy Nevada desert. This caused some things to become difficult, as you will read.

Enjoy!

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Day Three

I feel very lucky thins morning. I woke up with the sun around 6:00am and baited my hook to start fishing. What do you know, I caught one! Its a small but beautiful rainbow trout. I know he will go wonderfully with my crackers and cheese spread for lunch.

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I felt bad for Nalah last night. It was very cold up until 9:00am . I did my best to cover her up with my spare blanket and I think it helped her a little bit. From now on I will do my best to ensure both of us are warm and comfy. I do however, enjoy it when she snuggles as close to me as possible in the middle of the night. It makes me feel safe and at home. 

I wanted to take it easy today till around eleven or noon. Both of us were limping around the beach this morning when the first people began to appear. . .

Just caught fish number two! Still a rainbow trout, but bigger than the first. I feel accomplished, I am going for three.

I will be able to take my first bath in an hour or so once the sun touches my side of the beach. I know I will feel refreshed and ready to tackle day three’s journey. I will also do some laundry so I smell nice and fresh 🙂

Many people are starting to arrive and I hope I don’t look weird bathing in a lake. But what do I care haha. Either way it is time to clean up my area and embrace the day!

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It is night three. Just got to Upper Blue Lake. My legs are hurt. No energy left for creative thought. Its going to be a good day off tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing what I am sleeping in front of. It is 10:30pm. 

Goodnight

Finally!! Its 2:10pm on day four and I finally feel strong enough to lift the pen I write with. Yesterday was long, steep and treacherous. I lost my knife the night before and had planned on going back to the place I believed I had left it in the morning. We slept in on Kinney Reservoir, then attempted that feat…but no knife.

I was furious! I almost threw the two fish I had caught on the floor, because I couldn’t clean them, and marched my ass straight to Tahoe no stops. But I found my cool again and simply kept walking with the intent of buying a knife from a day hiker. 

The first people I saw were an elderly couple with fanny packs and small backpacks. I asked the couple if I could pose an odd question. “Do you have a spare knife I could buy?” I asked the couple. Without hesitation the old man replied, “Absolutely!” and handed me an older looking swiss army knife with wine cork and all. I asked how much he wanted and he said not a thing. He thought I might have been on the PCT and in fact saw me that morning on Kinney Beach.

This simple happening brought me to tears for the next half mile and almost does still as I write about it. 

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After Kinney Lake we hiked through an unexpected dry patch of high desert. Because of my knife fiasco, I lost track of a few things. Among them once again, was water. I had enough to last till the creeks ahead, but Nalah now refuses to drink from anything that isn’t the source. That includes her bowl for some reason. She went about five miles with nothing but drive, while I required water every ten minutes as well as an oatmeal cookie and some electrolyte GU just to hold her pace. 

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We take turns sharing the front and when one of us slows down the other takes the pace right back up. This combination has takes us nearly seventy five miles, but has also beat us down over the three day course. 

I am happy to take the whole day as a rest day only because Nalah looks so tired. I wanted to make a six or seven mile hike to Red Lake before 6:00pm today, but I think new energy will take us to a very quick pace tomorrow. 

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Something very exciting also happens tomorrow. I move on to the pages of map two! Once that happens I only have half a map length to go. Which means no more than another week or so sleeping on the ground (because once I get to Tahoe I still have no place to live).

I am also beginning to ration my food. I originally divided my stores into three days starting tomorrow, plus breakfast and dinner for today. Hopefully starting at Blue Lake in the morning I can make it eighteen to twenty five miles to either Echo Lake or Lake Aloha. 

One of those places will be my last stop hopefully and by mid afternoon on day six I can be in South Lake Tahoe. Whichever one of these lakes I stop at will also decide the spot I try and take a Milky Way picture. These are the two largest lakes I pass on the way and (from online images) I assume the most inspiring. 

Fishing at Blue Lake sucks. From what someone told me it is an extra slow day today, but I have had my hook in the water since 6:00am (It is now 3:00pm) and I have not seen it move once! I HAVE gotten snagged on plenty of rocks though.

A friendly man and his son were literally in my same boat and we were discussing the matter, when inevitably the question of why I am living on the beach arose. I told him I was on the PCT and he talked briefly about hiking goals and incredible adventures and opportunities long past.

He mentioned that his wife had just finished reading a few book about the PCT and would love to talk to me for a second. As she came over she had a big smile on her face and looked just about ready to set out with me! We talked for a while all about different aspects of the trail.

We also talked about the terrible fishing day everyone was having. She asked if there was anything she could give me and I politely declined. She continued the subject and insisted that she at least give me two frozen fish. How could I turn her down? The fish are about the same size  as yesterdays and will be quite tasty I am sure. 

The beauty of human kindness has astounded me always. That truth however, becomes clearer and clearer each day I spent on the trail. I only hope that in days and years to come I can in turn help someone in my similar situations. 

The sun is slowly but surely making its way from the middle of the sky and the air is starting to get cooler. Soon I will probably eat and take a short nap. Then dinner will come and hopefully with it an early and long night of sleep. We have to cover many miles tomorrow and we will need this energy and an early morning start to do it.

No nap, but I read about half of my book. I am reading Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck. It is amazing how much this book speaks to my daily life out here. Steinbeck really does have a way of putting situations into perspective for me. I think him and I may be  much alike.

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Charley, Steinbeck’s dog, seems a much more willing companion than Nalah does today. However, she is warming back up after a hearty serving of fish, rice and chicken noodle soup. Plus she has eaten more dog food today than she has in weeks! By tomorrow I believe everything will be fairly well. 

We have a comfy sleeping spot, but it is cold. We still have not gone below 8,000ft on our journey. More Steinbeck, some whisky and fruit punch then sleep.

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Thats all for days three and four. Come back tomorrow for what was, to my surprise, our final day!

See You Then,

Kyle Simmons

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Author:

Hey there, My name is Nalah! My dad, Kyle Simmons, tells me I am 4 years old. We love to go outside and run! I love finding all the friendly people and places where I am allowed to be. I will do my best to give you the best beaches, trails, and squirrels to chase ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!! Hope you tag along for the best dog spots, workouts and advice on how to stay in great dog shape. Love, Nalah

4 thoughts on “Day Three – Kinney Lake to Upper Blue Lake

  1. Hi Kyle – thanks for stopping by my blog! It sounds like you and Nalah have been on quite the journey, and I can’t wait to see how it all ends. I know this is so not the point, but reading about your interaction with her makes me miss my pup SO much – one of the hardest things about being away. 🙂

  2. I hope Nalah doesn’t think the rest of her life is gonna be this tiring.  LOL – G-ma

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  3. Wow, I’ve been catching up on your PCT adventure, very admirable and exciting. I was going to add you to my AZ Bloggers blogroll but I guess you are becoming a CA blogger instead so I’ll add you to my regular blogroll. It’s nice that someone as young as you is so organized, prepared, and focused. Your dog is really cute, too, what a trooper.

  4. You and Nalah are amazing – I so enjoy reading about your travels – beautiful photos – wonderful life experience learning – glad you are there now (South Lake Tahoe)

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