September 15, 2016
Donner Summit (mile 1153.4) to Peter Grubb Hut (mile 1160.8)
Our total miles: 2518.1
We woke up at 7 am. It felt so good to sleep in a bed. Laurie misses cotton sheets. Small comforts like these make it easier to think about returning to “real life.”
We finished our town chores while eating a delicious hiker breakfast – microwave nachos with guacamole. In the past 14 hours we have eaten a rotisserie chicken, 2/3 a large block of sharp Tillamook cheese, 16 corn tortillas, a large container of salad greens, 1.5 bags of chips, 1 apple, 3 plums and a container of guacamole.
Our friend Mitra met us at our hotel around 10:15am with our resupply package. We organized our food, including goodies from a care package from another friend.
We drove up to Donner Summit, parked the car and spent 20 minutes attempting to confirm that it was okay to leave a car overnight.
Most people were visiting or said they thought it would be okay – but we wanted confirmation. Eventually some locals passed by and confirmed that parking on the dirt would be fine.
By noon we were walking. We skirted around a popular rock climbing area and hiked around granite rocks with a beautiful view of Donner Lake.
The trail included many ups and downs between Highway 40 and I-80. Mitra was a great sport as we climbed and descended the granite steps, all while chatting.
We walked under 2 tunnels, one for each direction of traffic, to cross over I-80. We enjoyed an extended and extavagent lunch of hummus, bell peppers, carrots, plantain chips, potato chips, turkey summer sausage and fruit all while sitting near the I-80 rest area.
From here we continued on toward the Peter Grubb Hut. The trail was a constant but gentle uphill. Again we distracted ourselves with conversation and the miles flew by.
We got to Castle Pass around 4:30 and dropped 200 feet down to Round Valley and the hut.
Andy chatted with a SOBO named The Greek while Mitra and Laurie explored the cabin.
Two long wooden tables filled the first room with a wood burning stove, laundry line and many pots and pans. There was a nice loft for sleeping and another insulated room as overflow.
Outside was a ladder to allow for winter access. We hope to come back here sometime in the winter.
We walked about a tenth of a mile west of the hut and found 2 spots close to one another. We set up our tents and ate dinner sitting on some granite. Mitra brought a kale salad which we happily devoured.
Around 7:15 Laurie noticed a bright light on the hill. We all stared at it and watched it grow bigger and brighter.
Initially we thought it was a tent with LED lights but then it became clear it was the moon. We watched the moon rise as the colors to the west faded.
It was a surprisingly warm night and we all slept without the fly. Laurie slept in Mitra’s tent and they chatted for a while before falling asleep.
This is the first night we sleep apart.
Tonight we are grateful for care packages and in person visits from friends.