TRT Day 4

Miles: 0

Photos: Smoke at the Hostel + AQI in Tahoe

Last night one of the desk attendants at the hostel told me some news that smoke from the Oak Fire, a forest fire that started the day before, would be blowing in overnight. I thought it wasn’t going to be a problem based on an article I read online which boasted that the air quality wouldn’t be affected. I was skeptical but had to wait until morning time to evaluate my next move.

When I woke up, I could smell the smoke instantly. When I checked the AQI near Echo Lake, the readings were ranging from 200 - 299.

I had three options. Hike in the smoke, wait out the smoke in Tahoe, or bail and come back when the weather is better. 

I wasn't gonna risk my health by hiking so that wasn’t my choice.

I knew that the smoke from the Washburn fire was in Tahoe a few weeks ago and it blew over in a few days but since that’s not a guarantee for this fire I didn’t want to spend my money and time in Tahoe. 

I decided the third option was best.

I did feel a bit weird about heading back after only 3 days on trail AGAIN. What calmed my nerves was talking to other PCT hikers at the hostel and syncing up with my friend Annika. The PCTers were all skipping up to avoid the smoke, and Annika was also leaving Tahoe in the hopes of returning later. It all made me feel a bit more justified in my decision 

I got a train ticket, walked around South Lake Tahoe, ate lunch, did some shopping, and eventually I was on my way home. Didn’t get back to the train station near my Dad’s until a little before midnight, but Dad was still happy to come pick me up. Hopefully I’ll be back!!





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