Hey Howdy ! Leaving South Lake Tahoe was rough, we ate so much in town that it I ended up a bit lethargic. Maybe it was the milk shake at the Echo Lake Chalet. We received a ride up to the lake from a friendly mother/daughter couple who have a cabin up on the lake. It’s a beautiful get-away that I would love to visit again. The only apparent way to get to the cabins are via boat or trail. Beautiful. I didn’t get moving on the trail until 2:30 p.m. but I was able to still get in 12 miles.
June 28, Mi – 1104 to 1134. 30 mile day, rough, but it always feels good the next morning to know you pushed so far. Heading up the hill from the Tahoe Rim Trail, Udi and I met 3 nuns, and Renie from Reno. Two of the nuns, Lois, and Jill, from Dallas TX just celebrated their 50th Jubilee (50 years as a Nun). They were such a delight to talk to, and knew the Catholic grade/high school that I went to back in St.Louis. After a bit of chat (they began by telling us about a couple in front of us that had hiked all the way from the Mexican Border ! (I of course replied “we did too!”)), they let me record them singing Amazing Grace. It was wonderful.
June 29, Mi 1134 – 1155- 21 mile day stopped 6 mi early due to TRAIL MAGIC ! All day long, Udi said he hoped there would be some trail magic when we reached Donner Pass. There’s a highway near and sometimes we’re surprised by the generosity of others. The last few miles of the trail were rough, we hiked through several ski areas that day (it’s rather neat walking along the trail, snow patches here and there, and ski-lifts stopped lifeless above), and just a few miles from Donner Pass, a large swath of snow with foot prints that went up and around didn’t stop me from attempting a glisade. That’d be when you sit on your butt and slide down a snow bank. This one had a steep drop, only about 20 ft or so, but I figured it to be manageable. After my initial scoot, I was flying down the snow (ok, remember it was only 20 ft) screaming in my head “I’m GONNA BREAK SOMETHING ! I’M GONNA BREAK SOMETHING !!!!” I hit the rocks and mud below, bent my knees, and my butt drug through the slop a good 6 more feet before I stopped before a drop off. Stupid. Udi said it was a bad idea, and proceeded to follow in my foot…er… butt slide. Some pain, some blood, move on.
Udi’s wishes came true. We met Trail Angels Shadow and Country Mouse and their RV Beulah, right at Donner Pass. Former AT hikers, they sold off most of what they owned after their hike, and took off on the road. http://bjandclara.blogspot.com/ We sat, ate hot dogs and ice cream sandwiches, drank ice cold sodas, ate more, and greeted other hikers as they rolled in. We had six more miles to hike but quickly realized we’d have to abandon that plan and just relax.
June 30 – mi. 1155 to 1180 – With Trail Angels around we had a nice breakfast of danish and milk, juice, coffee… by 8 a.m. it was time to get moving, an hour later than I like to be, but it was, in fact ME, that was holding Udi and I back. We passed the Petter Grubb Hut 6 miles later. A beautiful structure owned and maintained by the Sierra Club. Hand hewn log benches, tables to play cards, Log stoves… I wished we would have continued on from the Trail Angels, because this was the perfect backwoods cabin, complete with a second story entry door for access in high winter snow. We camped up top a ridge and the view… perfect like all others on a ridge, 360* of nature.
July 1 – 1180 – 1197.5 - Woke up, hiking by 6:15, hauled ass and hit the road by 12:30 pm to hitch down to Sierra City. I think there was some scenery in the middle… But I missed it all in the name of a burger… A ONE POUND BURGER at the General Store . I absolutely love this old mining town, and want to return some day. The Red Moose Lodge, built in the 1800′s (a guestimate was made of 1862), and purchased by Margaret and Bill, two miners themselves, two years ago. Their intent was to have a place to store their mining equipment, but they shortly found themselves housing hikers after one, a seemingly homeless man walking down the street, needed their assistance, a shower, a place to rest, and food. We’re allowed to camp out back, shower, do laundry, all for free. The restaurant/bar is open for breakfast and Bills famous ribs most days during hiker season, and sometimes the locals pop in too… This is hiker perfection.
Today I’ve been sworn in as the welcoming committee, and have spent a bit of my day orienting incoming hikers to the Lodge. They need someone here for two weeks to help out as the ‘herd’ of hikers plows through, which will likely be in a couple of weeks, and I’d love to take the time off trail to help out, but maybe next year I’ll be able to do so. Because, you know, I spend my days dreaming, and although I loved my job as an industrial painter, I think of hundreds of other things to do to keep me involved in the hiking community….
Then again, next year, you may just find me out on the CDT (continental Divide Trail) in a black kilt and tux shirt… who knows.
That’s about it from the trail. I noticed my mood has improved greatly as we left the rougher Sierra’s and the trail has evened out a bit. My feet have been sore, but will have to wait until Chester, the half way townn 135 or so miles away, to get new insoles. These $40 Montail insoles didn’t quite make it as far as I’d hoped for the money. We have quite a climb out of this town, and a 4500 ft elevation drop into Belden (90 miles/4 days away). I won’t have an update from Belden, but in Chester I get a substantial computer upgrade and will hopefully be able to offer you more photos faster, instead of mailing my mem cards to Anna, my sister and having them uploaded to Flickr. The photo files are just too large for this little Acer laptop to handle.
Thanks AGAIN for EVERY bit of encouragement and support I receive from each and ever one of you….
Cheers from the trail.
Train – aka -Ron