Tahoe Rim Trail–change of plans 

Day 3

Campsite 1.5 miles from Brockway Summit TH

Miles: 9.5

Slept amazingly well last night in my halfway to nowhere campsite. Pure exhaustion. Had a weird thing before I fell asleep though. I got in bed and my legs were shaking, like I was shivering. That same kind of not controllable quaking. But I wasn’t cold. At all. A little warm, maybe. I seriously checked myself to make sure I wasn’t shivering. I think it was extreme muscle fatigue. Strange feeling. It eventually stopped. Or I fell asleep. Either way. 

I woke up around 3:30 to pee and spent a little while just staring at the stars. When you say the stars were ‘smeared’ across the sky, it’s hard to explain what that even means until you see them through the trees in a silent forest, covering every tiny inch of the sky. I guess I’m grateful for my persnickety bladder, since it gives me a chance to drink in the Milky Way. 

I knew that I’d have to implement my Brockway Summit plan, so I could sleep in. Slept until 6:30! Can you believe it? I had started to hear the birds calling and carrying on by the time I crawled out of my tent. It was a little strange–hazy out over Grey Lake. But up high. Not sure if it’s smoke? Also, my entire face feels swollen this morning. Especially my lips. I know they’re sunburned. Definitely need some sunblock/chapstick in Tahoe City. My eyes are puffy too, which I ascertained by taking a selfie. No, you can’t see it. I guess the altitude is still messing with me.  

So, I had to hike down to Grey Lake this morning for water (about .5 miles) and then back up a mile to the TRT. Grrrr. I hate backtracking. But I hate being thirsty more and there’s no more water until after Brockway Summit. So, down I hiked. Left all my stuff and just took my pack and water bottles. When I got to the lake I was feeling a little disgusted by the whole thing. I could see a fast running stream waaaay over on the other side of the bowl but the actual lake was completely marshed in. I did not want to hike all the way around not was I interested in sloshing through a swamp, so I started scouting around for any other way. Finally found a tiny little inlet stream with rocky enough banks that I could get close to the water. It was actually pretty easy to collect. Delicious and cold and mossy tasting. Took the chance to wash out socks and undies and bandanas as well. ​

​Then back up I hiked, grabbed the rest of my gear and I was off. As soon as my feet were back on the TRT I found a spot with reception to call my mom, who’s meeting to resupply me tomorrow, to change our meeting from Tahoe City to Brockway Summit trailhead. She agreed to pick me up there instead. Have I mentioned that my mom is the best? She is!

As soon as I started again, I was glad that I decided not to continue on this section yesterday. For one, it was crazy gorgeous and I would have missed it in my exhausted state. But it was also potentially very treacherous–high contouring trail with steep, steep drops and lots of rocks. And did I say gorgeous? Breathtaking. Turns out there’s this huge ass lake! And I totally got to look at it a lot today! Plus steep meadows of mules ears and lupine and a dozen other flowers I didn’t know and enormous lava plugs topping each ridge, looking all craggy and ancient and pleased with themselves, like they do. I always imagine them a little smug. Like, oh, I’m still here while this ENTIRE MOUNTAIN erodes around me. Nbd. 

Lava plugs in Mt. Rose Wilderness


I had lunch at a lovely high outcropping looking out over the lake. It was certainly my most epic lunch spot. Had another tortilla with baby bel cheese and hot sauce and fritoes. Most delicious wrap ever! Did a little blister triage as well before continuing on my way. 

Lunch view


Once I left Mt Rose Wilderness, things became decidedly less scenic (scenic being a relative term when you’re already tramping through trees and rocks and flowers and other such amazingness). I was switchbacking down down down (from around 9200 ft to my camp at 7700 ft). It was a lot of blasted out forest and second growth. There were lots of dirt road crossings and a few points where the TRT follows a dirt road for a quarter or half mile. Ugh to that. Also, it was much warmer as I descended. And then there were mountain bikers. So, I was glad to get to camp. Even though it was early. And even though I only did 9.5 miles today. I’ve got a lovely soft flat spot in the piney forest, only 1.5 miles from Brockway Summit. There are a million billion mosquitoes and they all want me with a burning passion but I am hiding in my cozy tent! Soon I will have to go out there to pee, but for now I am safe. And tomorrow I see my mama!!

sunset light at camp
Dirt legs

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