Today was the start of three days of camping, beginning at Little Garlic Falls. But we had an hour’s drive to drop our cars, so we left the Holiday Inn at 7:30 a.m. We got to the car drop spot near Silver Lake Basin around 8:30, then took off hiking at 9 a.m.
The first 12 miles (19.3 km) or so were all on gravel/dirt roads. There was lots of shade in the first few hours, but then it got pretty sunny and hot. Still, we were able to average just under three miles per hour (5 kph). The scenery was pleasant, but mostly forest on both sides of the road.
One highlight of the morning was passing another hiker. He must have been doing the NCT. No one else would be out on these roads with a backpack! He wasn’t much of a chatter, though, and barely acknowledged us.
Nearing Little Garlic Falls
In the early afternoon, we got off the road and onto real trail. The trail went steeply uphill almost right away, and then things got rough, with lots of downed limbs. Next were hummocky sections that were hard on my left knee, where I think I have a torn meniscus.
The last few miles were on a two-track road, which sounds lovely. But the initial mileage was full of downed trees reminiscent of our awful Monday. Luckily, it wasn’t too long of a stretch.
We ended the day strongly, and finished before 5:30. Ed and Bruce went on a wine run for us ladies, while Amy and I hauled the tents and gear to a campsite .8 miles (1.3 km) up a side trail leading to Little Garlic Falls.
The campsite here is lovely, with an actual tent pad bordered with lumber, a fire ring and even hot dog tongs. It’s also right on the river. When the guys came back, Ed and I bathed in the waterfall .3 miles (.5 km) up the path. Unfortunately, it wasn’t much of a waterfall, but it was very refreshing.
Right now, as I write, we’re eating dinner and a light rain is starting to fall. No rain was predicted! Hope it stops soon.
MI NCT miles today: 18.5 (29.8 km)
MI NCT miles to date: 284.7 (458.2 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 1,047.9 (1,686.4 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 3,552.1 (5,716.6 km)
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