Day 89: (20 miles)
mile 1159 – 1179
Julie from Granite Chief Outfitters had offered to give us a ride back to the trailhead and was at the hotel at 7am. We had just finished breakfast, full of bagels and coffee ready for a 20 mile day. Off we went to Donner Summit where we began what we anticipated to be a tough week. The goal is to be to the town of Quincy for 4th of July. Lots of elevation gains and drops. Before driving away, Julie gave us a contact in Ashland, Or. we will use in a few weeks. She also gave us some dehydrated mandarin orange slices from Trader Joe’s…I miss Trader Joe’s. We will be fighting over these later, I’m sure! After a little trail confusion we made some good time even though we both felt bloated from town food. We have definitely noticed that water is not as plentiful as it was in the Sierra Mountains, but the trail is kinder to our feet. We will need to carry more water and watch Yogi’s notes closer to ensure we stay properly hydrated, especially with warmer days on the horizon.
Our first quest today was to find the Peter Grub Hut. Ironically we passed it and took a side trail to find it, then backtracked and found it easily…when we picked our heads up and didn’t look at out feet or the trail. The hut had a register to sign so we were excited about seeing who was ahead of us.
Once there we checked the out the hut. Much bigger than the Benson Ski Hut but similar in design. This one however had a two-story out house, which of course we used. Looks like Eng (Gear Slut) is a week ahead of us and Ali (Alpaca) and Thayer (Yukon) are 12-14 days ahead.
In the afternoon the trail went through a logging area. Thinking this was strange yet interesting we couldn’t help but see a pattern to the cutting. It appears that the blue spray painted tree trunks stayed and the red painted trunks were on the mow down list. I expect Paul’s brother Mike to weigh in on this. Later we saw a sign explaining the process/purpose (to harvest and enhance the health and sustainability of the forest)and the replanting of different pine trees. By the end of the day we had left the cut area far behind and found a nice campsite in the trees with little to no mosquitoes.