September 15, 2016
Bushcamp (mile 1129.7 ) to Donner Pass Summit/Highway 40 (mile 1153.4)
Our total miles: 2510.7
It was cold but dry this morning. We got moving at 7 am wearing most of the layers we had packed. With little food and no more fuel we were determined to make it to Truckee for the night.
We hiked along the western side of the ridge, soaking up the short moments when sunlight broke through the rock formations offering a bit of warmth.
We hiked past fields of dried and drying Mules Ears. It felt and looked like Fall.
We followed the exposed ridge to Alpine Meadows ski area. The trail dropped 1400 feet before climbing 1500 feet up to Squaw Valley. We traversed through the ski resort, slowing dropping in elevation.
Laurie grew up skiing at Squaw and it was fun to see the same slopes with a new perspective. Never would she have guessed there were large granite boulders under some of her favorite runs.
We walked down steep switchbacks and wide trail. All the while we stayed focused on our end goal – Safeway and a shower. We did not have enough food with us on this leg.
Or maybe we are just getting tired of eating the same thing. All Laurie could think about was fresh fruit and hummus. Not together of course – although after a few more Quest bars and tuna packets she would eat any combination to avoid more of the same.
We dropped down and climbed up again toward Tinker Knob. We ran into a few day hikers and chatted with them, hoping to secure a ride into Truckee.
The trail around Tinker Knob was beautiful. The colors of the plants ranged from yellow to deep red. The sky was blue and the rock formations unique.
We were cruising today. Our packs were light, our bodies felt good and the trail was not too rocky.
We reached Highway 40 at 4:20pm. Way earlier than our intended goal of 6pm. Laurie attempted to hitch while Andy made a sign. Within 15 minutes, we got a ride from the first car that drove past after we had our sign finished.
We were dropped off at Safeway and immediately let our stomachs lead the way.
We purchased plums, apples, a large box of herb blend organic salad greens, a large block of Tillamook cheese, hummus, carrots, bell peppers, a rotisserie chicken and chips.
There was a sale so we walked out with 3 bags of chips. Apparently we were in need of salt, fat and calories.
Laurie was ravenous and didn’t think she could make the half mile walk to the hotel so we sat outside Safeway and dug into the chicken. The crispy skin tasted so good!
We then walked to 2 gear stores in search of tip replacements for Laurie’s Black Diamond trekking poles.
Unfortunately both stores only had LEKI replacements but we were reassured that there are replacements for the entire tip. Something to deal with post – hike.
We powered through the 15 minute walk to the Inn at Truckee while eating a bag of Kettle Brand roasted garlic potato chips. Oh so good.
Once at the hotel we showered, washed socks and our shirts, talked to family and made quesadillas.
We munched on fresh foods all evening long while watching trashy tv and relaxing.
The past few nights Laurie has been falling asleep at or before 8:30. Tonight, with access to TV, Internet and phone reception, we stayed up way too late.
It has been over 2 weeks since we had down time with service so we took advantage of it.
Tomorrow we get to sleep in.
Tonight we are grateful for fresh crunchy foods and snuggle time.