Daily Miles: 17
Total Miles: 17
We have been looking forward to this hike for almost two months. Not only do we get the chance to hike one of our favorite trails for a second time, but more importantly we get to hike the trail with our friends, MountainMan and Ace.
We’re starting this trail about 10 days after finishing the Great Divide Trail, and our planning for this trail has been pretty minimal. It helps that we have hiked the trail before, so we know what to expect, but we definitely haven’t gone through any checklists to make sure we have everything ready for the trail. Hopefully we won’t discover that we have forgotten something crucial.
We didn’t have any lodging lined up for the night before starting, so we ended up having MountainMan drop us off at the trailhead so we could find a place along the trail to camp. We had gone out to dinner for Ace’s birthday so we didn’t get out to the trailhead until 9:20pm, but luckily we didn’t have far to walk and then we were in our hammocks by 10:00pm.
MountainMan and Ace stayed at a motel in town and then just took an Uber out to the trailhead in the morning. We met up around 7:30am and were excited to start the hike! We took a few photos for the beginning of the hike and then started out.
There were quite a few day hikers out on the trail this morning. Seeing as how it is the Labor Day weekend, that is no surprise. One of the day hikers even told Beardoh that he looked like a young Andy Gibb, which we all thought was pretty funny…definitely a new one for him.
Beardoh and I really felt like the trail this morning was not what we had remembered from our 2014 hike. We had remembered a long uphill climb on a dirt road, but the trail this morning was true trail, nicely graded with switchbacks and gradual climbs. We even passed a scenic waterfall. We realized after looking at our Guthook app that the trail had been rerouted in recent years and that what we had remembered is now considered “the old TRT”. We really enjoyed the new trail this morning and it definitely was in line with all the other miles of awesome trail today.
We saw quite a few other thru-hikers today…potentially as many just today as we saw during our entire hike in 2014. We always enjoy talking with other hikers, so it was nice…just a bit strange to see so many other hikers.
We stopped for lunch at a small spring. We all had to load up on water since we were heading into a 17 mile waterless stretch. The spring was pretty small, but we were able to fashion a large leaf into a bit of a funnel to collect the water faster. Within less than an hour, we were all able to get four liters to carry with us.
The afternoon was largely spent walking on trail which had amazing views of Lake Tahoe. We were pleasantly surprised with the distance we were able to see, even with some slight smokey haze. We were able to see all the way across the lake…out to the mountains we will be hiking in by the end of the week.
In the afternoon, we saw a big plume of smoke from the Mount Rose area where we had come from this morning. We figured it was some kind of forest fire, but as we walked on, we passed a mountain biker who said that the smoke (and possibly fire) was from a small plane crash. It was sad to hear, as surely things wouldn’t have ended well for those on the plane.
We noticed several small water caches in the waterless stretch this afternoon. We did pick up a bit of water from a larger cache just to make sure we had enough water to hold us over until tomorrow.
We walked another mile or so and then found a good place to camp. This is our first time of hiking with other folks who hammock. MountainMan and Ace are just getting into hammocking so it is fun for us to give them some pointers. Luckily it was no problem to find a spot that would accommodate four hammocks.
We had forgotten just how dusty this trail can be. It seems that this has been a pretty dry summer, making the trail as dusty as ever. When we finished the day and took off our shoes on socks, our feet were pretty much caked with dust. It has been awhile since our feet have been this dirty.
We are all cooking on this trail, so we hung out in the evening while cooking. It is always a luxury to have a hot meal at the end of a day of hiking. We were all washed up and in our hammocks by 8:00pm.
Beardoh’s knee is, sadly, giving him problems again. It had been feeling good at the end of the Great Divide Trail and in the past week of rest. He decided to forego his knee brace and to go back to only one hiking pole for this hike, but it seems his knee hasn’t healed as much as he had hoped. He’ll monitor it over the next few days and possibly pick up another knee brace when we get to Tahoe City the day after tomorrow.