HIKING THE TAHOE RIM TRAIL “TRT”
One and half day drive from Phoenix to South Lake Tahoe, temperature perfect – 40’ to 80’, no rain. Forest extremely dry, whole area in drought, bears coming into communities for food, bear hunting permit signs on trail.
On Eastern part of TRT had two dry camps. We cached water but still needed to carry 108 oz. H2O each in parts. Nancy developed a blister on both feet the first day. Waterproof band aids were life saver. They were nearly gone by the end of the hike. Passes were hard mentally for Nancy. We came across “Endurance Mt. Bicyclist” for 75 miles. Mega for the hardy, mostly younger men.
Western part of TRT had more streams and lakes that was a very welcome and mood lifting change.
PCT from Meiss Meadows to Twin Peaks shared the trail. Lake Tahoe can be seen from many view points of the trail. During last few days near Twin Peaks, started to see smoke but could not smell it.
* Items used in emergency kits – Pepto-Bismol, blister ointment, water proof band aids, duck tape to repair tent pole, benedryl for allergies – runny nose, Exped repair kit.
* Animals we saw – coyote, grouse, Canadian geese, water fowl, lots of deer (including fawn), hawks, beaver, marmot, squirrels, chipmunks that yelled at us.
* Funny stories – We met a young Englishman hiking the opposite direction. He asked us if we had seen any bears. We had only seen foot prints and scat. Said he had just seen one I think that day coming down the trail ahead of him and the bear looked at him. He slowly backed up from the bear and the bear nonchalantly walked off to the lake, swam across to an island then continued on to the other side. The young man grabbed his heart and said “gave me a bit of a fright!”
A young couple (probably in their 20’s) hiking the opposite direction stopped to chat with Judy. The young girl kept looking at Judy’s backpack, the one she has had since the 80’s. She finally asked what that was on her pack. Judy, thinking she was talking about the bag strapped to the top, replied it was her tent and sleeping bag. Than the girl said “so what was that metal thing? Her chair?” Her partner corrected her and said that it was one of those “external frame packs.” Shows how long Judy has been at this!
* Special day – It was Nancy’s birthday on the 29th. Celebrated at the Mellow Mountain Hostel. She said it was the best Birthday ever because she got to take a wonderful shower. And Judy had treats for her. A wonderful day.
* People we met that made a wonderful difference in out hike:
* Endurance Race 75 mile Mt. Bike Race
* 200 mile runners in 96 hours
* Elias Small and Wolfie from Mellow Mountain Hostel
* Swix and Kristi from Portland – also doing the TRT. They left us an uplifting note cloths pinned to
the Brockway Summit trailhead sign. What an uplifting treat!
* Rambling Hemlock aka Joan West doing the PCT. Due to a stress fracture had to bail but after 10
weeks rest started back up (into it 5 days when we met). Loved her Gossimer backpack, home
made skirt that she designed and was a delight to talk to. She was kind enough to stop and chat for
awhile. We had so many questions wanted to ask but knew she had an agenda to push on.
* White Trash Brigade – Robert Beercase and Rebecca who voluntarily clean up trash around the
lakes and trails one day every week (Robert and Becky talked a lot but was very excited about
what they do, keeping the lakes and trails beautiful. They were kind to take our trash and pictures
of us throwing our trash in their white trash bags. They gave free bandanas to anyone throwing
in their trash. They were very nice and friendly. After we loaded up with water we hiked 2 miles
further to Miller Creek near the Rubicon road. Not a great creek more of a puddle. Used Clorox
drops and boiled the water. But good camp spot.
* Bill and Mike – TRT Association volunteers doing trail maintenance.
* Trevor Thomas aka Zero/Zero – We met him at Echo Chalet after he had just finished a
press conference. He finished hiking the TRT with his seeing eye dog, Tennille. He went blind
In 2008. He has hiked the AT, PCT and many other long distance trails. We were fortunate to
meet him, Tennille and Tennille’s trainer. A very inspiring person to us and many other people.
Made Nancy look at her complaining as very incidental. Worth reading his blogs.
* Hotels we stayed at – Rodeway Inn, South Lake Tahoe; America Best Value Inn, Tahoe City.
* Phone #’s that are helpful – TRTA – 775-298-4485; Go Blue Bus – 775-589-5284; TART Bus (North shore) – 800-736-6365; Spooner Lake Outdoor Co. (www.theflumetrail.com – 775-298-2501 $15 gave us a shuttle ride up to Mt. Rose Trailhead; Paddle Wheel Salon – very kind owner, Christina, gave us a ride to our car (had a cold one first) Mellow Mountain Hostel, 4081 Cedar Ave. 530-600-3272.
* Important – Need permit to camp in Desolation Wilderness area. Brockway summit is an important place to cache water. Beware of wind advisories as pine cones falling are very sharp and heavy so dangerous. Crossing highways – no over/under crossways. Make sure to look both ways.
* Places we ate that we enjoyed – South Lake Tahoe – Tep’s Villa Roma Italian and seafood; Tahoe City – Jakes by the Lake; Incline Village – Cocktails and Bar Food at Paddle Wheel across from Hyatt.
* Helpful things to know – Bikes from Tahoe meadows on trail on even days; Desolation Wilderness Permits $20 (we were checked on the trail by rangers); free fire permit needed even to light a match and for gas stove; check if camp fires permitted anywhere before you go; Camp Richardson is worth taking time to look around. Was told the Truckee River at Tahoe City was worth checking out for a raft or tube ride down the river. While we were there, the river was too low for us to enjoy that fun.
* Nature we saw at the Visitor Center while getting our permits – Wolf tree (very hugh), white headed woodpecker. Stream stocked with either cutthroat trout or salmon. Rent bikes in the area.