September 20: 11miles

Gray Lake to Brockway Summit Trailhead

The night was mostly calm, but a cold wind has arisen as the morning light begins to show. We go for a quick nature walk where I also gather our food bags, then back under the quilt for 30 minutes.

We eat. I pack. I go to the lake outlet to wash out my 2nd pair of socks. When I’m done my hands are painfully cold. I put gloves on and wait for the pain to subside and enough feeling to return to finish packing and getting on the trail.

I have one new problem….For the last few days my down jacked zipper has been zipping without the zipper properly closing about half the time. This morning it won’t properly zip at all. This isn’t a problem with my pack on as the pack straps hold the front closed. I’ll see if it’s a problem sleeping in freezing weather the next time I need the jacket as a sleeping layer. My strategy in this case is to put the wind shirt on over the down jacket and see if that helps hold it closed. Long term it’s not a problem as it’s a Patagonia jacket and they do free repairs. Just gotta find the workarounds for the last week or so of the hike.

We hit the trail heading for Brockway Summit Trailhead. This is where I cached water and food before the hike. The trail is downhill from 9000 to 7000 feet over 9 miles.

Again the views are spectacular. The trail is now all on the Lake Tahoe side of the mountains, so the lake is our left side companion.

The temperature also rises as we descend. As we near the trailhead the sun is approaching hot. The actual temp is about 75. But after days at a windy 55-65 it feels hot.

The photo and directions I made after caching the food and water. Peggy asked how in the world I would know where this is? Since I took the photo, I knew where I was standing.

At the trailhead I find a shady spot for Sherman and I to take a long break and I go to get the cached food and water I hid behind a large pine tree about 200 yards from the trail. It’s still there. The 6-pack of Smart Water and the green odor-free bag with food in it.

It’s been a few days since I’ve had a cell signal. I call Peggy and we FaceTime for a bit. So good to connect!

I reorganize human and dog food for our two days to Tahoe City. Leave some trash and bottles full of water at the trailhead. Sherman and I continue on looking for our next campsite.

About a half mile on I see one that’s a bit downhill, but I don’t like how close it is to the highway and the accompanying noises. So we go on. The trail is traversing a 45 degree mountain side, so there are not any places to stop. Another half mile on we get to a knoll and after some searching find a suitable spot. It requires clearing, though. Dead branches. Pine cones. Stones. A slight angle that can be leveled out some by moving dirt with the soles of my shoes. After about 30 minutes of work, we have a place that feels right and I setup camp.

We crawl in about 6:30. Sherman curls up. I write a bit. And than it’s sleep time.

Goodnight friends. Goodnight world. Goodnight moon.