Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 75: Raymond Lake Creek to Upper Truckee River

The wind howled all night. Nestled in our grove of fir trees deep in the canyon, we were grateful for the shelter as we listened to the wind whistle through the treetops. Slowly the wind increased its fury, until a final burst of power shook our tent. Then we enjoyed relative calm, waiting for the cycle to start again.

From our dark canyon, we climbed onto a sunny saddle, then dropped into a forest. Passing several swampy streams and meadows, we each picked up our own swarm of mosquitoes. Even after we left the swampy areas, the mosquitoes seemed to hang with us as we hiked through the cool, dark woods.

Although the Data Book elevations suggested that, like yesterday, our hike would be a gentle traverse, the elevation profile was deceiving. Instead of listing the elevation for the top of the climbs, the Data Book noted points with similar elevations lower down on either side of the ridge. Looking at the Data Book one might have thought the hike was almost level, but it was anything but. We climbed over several red volcanic ridges, dropping into grassy meadows filled with Sierra daisies, lupine, Mariposa lilies, several shades of paintbrush, and other flowers.

The final climb included two long snowfields, slick and icy in places, wet and slushy in others. Then we descended past several groups of day hikers, to Carson Pass (8,550 ft). My father met us with pizza, salad, and fruit slushies for dinner.

After dinner we continued up the trail. We climbed to a large saddle covered with irises. A swampy pond reflected the surrounding mountains in the waning evening light. From the saddle we descended beneath rocky volcanic cliffs to a grassy meadow. There, in a grove of trees next to the infant Truckee River, we found camp for the night.

1 comment:

  1. Sierra found the perfect patio chair to relax....glad her feet are feeling better. That is what sent Bryan home from the Appalachian Trail....blistered, infected feet, and knee problems. You guys are making great progress!