September 22: 14 miles
Watson Lake to Tahoe City
In my mind I want to get up early and be hiking by 8. Such a sucker for ideal plans! We’re hiking at 9:30…
Remember on an earlier day my asking why it’s taking longer to get packed and going on the TRT that it did on The Long Trail? Well, there were Shelters on The Long Trail. We only slept in the tent three times. The tent takes 20 minutes to setup or take down. The gear in the tent is harder to get in and out and has to be organized along the sides. In the shelters there’s no space constraint. Ha… took 10 days to recall and understand that!
Today is going to be a long day. (more…)
September 21: 6 miles
Brockwood Summit Trailhead to Watson Lake
The night time temps are still around 30. The wind has calmed to light breezes, which makes the “feels like” temp much more pleasant not only in the tent but outside.
I keep “wanting” to get up early and get going… But the warmth of the tent, the quilt, Sherman under the quilt with me is a more immediate and present experience of coziness, stillness and peace. So, we doze together until the sun is above the mountains and the air begins to warm.
Sherman’s support while I am outside gathering our Ursak bags, organizing packs, breakfast, etc. (more…)
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…. (more…)
September 19: 8 miles
Galena Falls over Relay peak to Gray Lake…
Sherman wakes me up. It’s windy and cold. The weather forecast I get on the Inreach SE is for lows around 30. I take him out for a quick walk then we snuggle back in under the quilt and wait for the sun to show above the mountains. I doze and wake a few times. About 8 we’re both awake and I start to slowly put things together in the tent.
The wind has let up a bit, but it’s still biting. I get food for both of us, crawl into the tent where we both eat out of the wind.
September 18: 4 miles
I wake at 6 feeling rested. Sherman’s still asleep. I test the ability to upload images on the blog and this morning it’s working. So I finish a group of entries and get them published.
Sherman wakes up and we go for a walk. He has his natural spring back in his step so he’s had enough recovery time. That’s good since we’re headed back to the trail today. A short day, but a hiking day.
We eat breakfast and I start organizing for the next jaunt. When packed I look for a Lyft or Uber driver. Today Uber wins. A retired schoolteacher collects us and drives us about 10 miles into the mountains to the Tahoe Meadows Trailhead where our journey begins again.
September 17: Zero Miles
I wake up and look at the map again. Also at Sherman. He’s been sleeping for almost 12 hours.
I sit with him and look at the pack, the water, and get that the right thing to do is skip this 40 miles.
So… new logistics.
September 16: 9 miles
It was a cold night. Very occasional wind gusts alternating with total calm. The weather pattern, or pressure system is changing. I don’t know enough about the rate this happens to know if this change in the wind and temperature over 3 days is a normal pattern or not.
Ready to go. Feels like come on! What’s the holdup?
September 15: 10 miles
Damn, it’s cold this morning. Mid to high 30s and still windy. We wake about 6:30. I want to be on the trail about 7:30. It’s cold enough that I don’t want to be outside in the wind while packing, so for the first time in my hiking life I bring everything in the tent to pack. I’ve read other hikers talk about that in rainy or freezing weather.
As I get ready to actually put things in the backpack the sun is over the horizon and I feel the warmth.
September 14: 7 miles
When I saw this photo of people crossing the mountains here in the late 1800’s I marvel at how easy we have it. People and animal teams clearing a channel in snow that’s deeper that a person. Then moving carts and wagons over a “road” that’s full of rocks and boulders. Why would anyone do that instead of waiting until the snow was melted? They certainly had a good reason. My mind can’t create one that would have that kind of necessity.
As I start to gather our things together to pack I get a horrible cramp in my right calf. I can’t put any weight on it. I put on my shoes and go out side to stretch my calves, knees, thighs and hips. Better. I take care of a blister on my right big toe. I almost never blister while hiking… hmmm…
I hadn’t thought about the forest being full of pine tar. Duh. It’s a pine forest…
September 13 – 5 miles
It was a very windy night. The weather predicted that the high gusty winds would end by about 10pm. They didn’t. The whole night is living wind patterns. Slow, distant whispers of leaves, crescendoing to a dull roar swirling around in 3D Surround Sound, then roaring over us, blowing the tent, sometimes pushing the peak 6 inches aside as the wind waves roar by. The sounds move away and into silence. Then a new variation on the theme repeats. Over and over…
Somehow Sherman and I both slept through much of it.