Day 0 and 1: Donner Pass to Richardson Lake, 36 (ish) miles
And then! A husky comes ambling down the trail towards me. This is Ekho, she hiked here all the way from Canada with her human, A-train. The three of us start the climb up to Dick's pass.
The top of the pass is bald and flat with a perfect grove of pine trees off to the left. Hiker friends sit lazily in the shade of the trees. There's whiskey and Oreos, picture-taking and cell phone reception. It's a grand celebration up here! Desolation wilderness stretches out before us - mountains all barren and brown, bright blue lakes and green pine trees speckling the landscape. I walk down the other side, feeling slightly skeptical about these group activities I've become a part of. I'm used to just me and Mud and the wilderness. But these people seem nice too.
I arrive at my first town stop an entire day before schedule, eat pizza and crash at the hostel.
Groucho negotiates a second night at the hostel for free for all six of us in exchange for painting a mural on their wall. I decide my new friends are pretty cool...
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