Day Five: Tahoe Rim Trail

1 Nov

Oct. 25, 2013

Tahoe City to Watson Lake

13.4 miles

This was actually an impressive morning for the girls. We woke up at 07:00 and were off to breakfast. It is not often we open a restaurant but today we did. We had a yummy of eggs, potatoes, and pancakes before heading back to the hotel after packing. This packing proved to be quite epic. Both us were saddled with HUGE food bags, enough for 6 days, each weighing in at approximately 11lbs. Couple that with 8 pounds of water and you have quite a load. Once stuffed we shouldered our packs and headed off towards the trail. Just needed to stop by the grocery store for some extra Ibuprofen and sunscreen.

The climb out of Tahoe City was not small. 1400 ft straight up and out. It started on a road and then after about 1/2 mile took a turn into the woods. Now, if you are a mountain biker or a trail runner out for one of these specific purposes the trail would be awesome. For a backpacker it is terrible! All of those serpentine turns, small humps, log jams, and whoopdies equal great fun when running or biking. When backpacking it equals BS leg tiring obstacles that serve no purpose in the enjoyment of your hike. When biking or running you don’t mind the extra  mileage of those fun, fast switchbacks. When trying to hike from point A to B it is simply obnoxious to double back on your footsteps and head in the opposite direction of the end goal. The beauty of the trail was not lost to us, but we were aggravated that the trail we were on was not sole built for our intended purpose of the moment.

This frustration led to foul moods and the desire for the day to end. We took frequent breaks and laughed at the fact that we were upset by trail conditions for a voluntary challenge. Once we hit Watson Lake we set up quickly and ate dinner in Aggie. Our options for bear bagging were quite limited so we chuckled at the fact that we were simply making the bears work a little extra for their food if they wanted it. We were quite sure our 10 foot branch on the verge of breaking with 22 pounds of food slung over it would not prove to be much of a challenge for the bear. We were exhausted physically and emotionally and at that point in the dark simply did not care if the bears got our food. It would just mean a little extra loss and many less pounds to carry. As we were falling asleep we took pride in our 13+ miles. It was the longest mileage we have ever been to accomplish when leaving the town vortex. So despite the trail conditions and the general grumpiness we felt a sense of accomplishment while drifting off to sleep.

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