Last year on our thru-hike we arrived at Donner Pass after walking for several days through a smoky haze. In fact, we were walking straight into a fire. This is what it looked like.
We hitched down to Truckee for lunch and after a few hours the PCTA reported that the trail was closed due to fire from exactly where we got off. So we had to skip 80 miles between Donner Pass and Echo Lake.
"It'll just be a great excuse to come back." Mud says, about all the sections we had to skip because of fire.
So, last weekend I went back with Sprout. We only had time enough to hike ten miles down the trail, spend the night, and hike ten miles out, but it was well worth the drive. After a windy ridge walk and seeing smoke from yet another fire billowing in the distance, we settled down for camp in the most beautiful of rock fields. The rock-tree combination is always one of my favorite things. It marks the transition between the forest and the high Sierras. The rolling, gentle boulders strewn about the hillside contrast perfectly with the poignant, pointy pine trees. It's the best of both worlds - high alpine granite and the protection of forest.
Sprout spent the evening watching chipmunks and I cuddled up next to a rock with a book until the sun set. We could've stayed for ever. But alas, there's work to be done back in the city.
Until next time...
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