People sometimes ask what’s your next adventure? Really I never know. Things just kinda happen. Like, I wanted to thru hike the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). However, I just started a new job and taking a week off is currently not an option. So a friend and I decided to section hike it together.
We decided to do the first leg over the 4th of July long weekend. I dusted off my gear and boom it was on. Getting a late start after work and shuttling cars we hiked up to a nice camp spot then hiked down out of the trees to catch the first set of fireworks out of Kings Beach. Doing the Brockway Summit to Tahoe Meadows was a good choice for firework views but that was still A LOT of snow.
It was really nice trail, then the higher we climbed the snow patches started. Seriously considering some crampons after this hike. All that slipping, sliding and trying not to fall really suck your energy. Found a lovely spot on Mt. Baldy to camp at 9,200 feet. Watched the moon rise on one side of the ridge and the fireworks of Tahoe City, Incline Village, Zepher Cove and South Lake was over the opposite ridge. Afterwards I stood watching boats glide across the lake and the traffic build up on the roads. I was super grateful that I was just ten feet from sliding into my tent for the night.
The section is only 21.6 but I was really glad that we had planned to do it over multiple days. There were certainly parts where we were just hoping for the best only to find we were way off trail. Spent 10 miles picking our way through some sketchy snowy areas. Hiking on snow can really slow your roll and tire you out. We decided to scramble up the granite rocks to get to Raley’s Peak (the highest point on the TRT) at 10,335 feet. It was a way more fun than picking our way over miles of suncups (bowl-shaped open depressions into a snow surface) what a workout that is!
Getting to the top of Relay’s we were rewarded with amazing panoramic 360 degree views. Then we had to get down. Without crampons taking the trail towards Mt. Rose was out of the question…..so sliding down the steep face of suncups then high stepping over the depressions of the only choice. Skiing this area next season has got me a bit excited.
I really enjoyed this hike, I’ m so glad to be living in the Tahoe Basin. Hiking the Sierra’s on the PCT was my favorite section. It is a true privilege to have access to the Sierra’s and all it’s beautiful possibilities. What will my next adventure be? Hard to say….. I just go with the flow and trust the universe will put the correct opportunities in my path.
So this is how the 100 mile wilderness went…
First off i was all hyped to be going it alone, into the wilderness. Nope. Holy crap there are a lot of folks in the “wilderness”. For instance i never camped alone, which was weird but fine. First night i set up my tent, i was just not feeling the people in the shelter. This guy had a gun and was all “better to have it and not need, than need it and not have it.” Really, I’m a girl with a broken pocket knife…you’ll be fine. I high tailed out of there, wet tent and all, pretty early. I wanted some miles between me and pistol packin pete.
I hiked 16 miles to the next shelter, i was the only one there..for like a minute. I pitched my tent in in a bad spot and did a crappy stake job. It rained, EVERYTHING was wet or really damp. My bad. Dragged my pack to the shelter, then after the drizzle stopped went back for the soggy tent. Meanwhile i meet this dude, southbound hiker:
I try to ask people “whats your story?” It gives people the opportunity to tell what they choose to share instead of playing 20 questions. Well, boy did he have a story. I wont share because its detailed and not mine to tell. But he asked me to take his picture, oh and he was low on food so i gave him some ramen. (Should’ve checked first…that left me with only 1 hot dinner for myself).
I wished him well and quickly hiked 10 miles or so to the next shelter…because it was gonna storm, again. I set my tent up IN the shelter and hung things to dry. Then the rain and hail started. The shelter and tent sites filled fast.
Two things i feel i should explain 1) yes i put my tent up in the shelter, however my tent takes up the same amount of room as if i just threw down my pad. 2) i do it because of mice dont want them crawling on me and the bugs and mosquitoes are mad intense out here. They drive me bananas. Tried sleeping with a bug net on, nope.
Life on the trail….hike, eat, sleep, repeat. My day goes something like this in case you were wondering.
Wake at first light, usually about 5:30 am, lay there staring at tent til I hear other hikers start unzipping tents and sleeping bags. Mornings are the worst part of the day for me as it had been so cold, so I try to do everything from inside my sleeping bag. (I luv my 20 degree bag it is super toasty) Anyway I do a quick wet wipe clean up then take my handful of vitamins. Then I have breakfast, usually a granola bar and peanut butter or a pop tart, the joy of going stoveless!
Then I put my coat on, yep still in sleeping bag. Put on “clean” soak’s and gaiters, pack away electronics and trash. Unzip tent, lay plastic bag outside of tent throw everything inside out into bag, yup I’m still in the sleeping bag. (if I could figure out a way to pack my tent while still in my bag I would) ok now I get out and stuff it away and finally get out of tent.
From this point I quickly pack everything into backpack so my little fingers don’t freeze. Then I hike and warm up quickly, so then starts the disrobing part of the day. (this goes on all day sometimes, coat orn, coat off, shirt on shirt off).
I usually stuff my hip belt with protein bars so I don’t have to stop to eat. I like to keep moving, it’s a forward momentum thing. Once I stop it takes a while to get back to cruising speed.
When things workout I like to get to camp about 6:30 pm, throw up my tent and hop in if it’s chilly. If not I’ll sit outside on my pad and have cold (sometimes dry) ramen or salami and triskets! If there is a fire in camp I love to sit and chat, if not I’m in my tent. Yup this cold spell is killing my social game. Either way once in my tent I wet wipe my feet massage them with lotion, take some vitamin I, record daily mileage, review maps for the next day then…..lights out. Hey hiker midnight is 9pm, so yeah.