The Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) is a 165 mile mountainous (often multi-use) trail that essentially circumnavigates Lake Tahoe. A permit is required for traverse into and through the Desolation Wilderness and the trail joins with parts of the Pacfic Crest Trail (PCT) about 10 miles before Echo Lake and splits off just near Tahoe City. The trial is divided into 8 sections, with each section approximately 20 miles. Many people “day-hike” each section returning to the “comfort” of an expansive meal and a comfy bed. We chose to hike it in its entirity in one fell swoop, for two reasons. (1). We only had a 14 day window of travel to be away from home, and (2) We were seriously considering hiking the the PCT the following year and figured this was a good “shake-out” hike to see if walking 20ish miles a day with all our stuff on our back, in the great outdoors was something that we’d like, and could actually do. The beauty of doing this trail is that it is relatively close to civilization (in the event of a medical emergency) and our next door neighbors volunteered to “trail angel” us, as they would be visiting their daughter who lives in Truckee. We had both lost a few pounds following our first attempt at “back-packing” the Trans-Catalina Trail the previous March, and had lightened our load considerably to include a new ULA Catalyst pack for me, having downsized from my 70L Gregory Diva. We had hoped we were better prepared and in better shape (physically) for this endeavor. We had no illusions however that all would go absolutely “swimmingly” as Mr. Murphy (of Murphy’s Law) and his vindictive wife, Mother Nature, tend to accompany us on most of our adventures.
The Tahoe Rim Trail Association’s website ( http://www.tahoerimtrail.org ) was helpful in researching the segments and getting an idea of what we were in for, and provides an update on trail conditions and the prevelance or lack of water for each segment. As this is the 21st Century, we found a few YouTube videos, read a few blogs and immersed ourselves in everything TRT in preparation for this adventure. We bought a trail guide book, of which I will not name because all we did was cuss this guy out the entire time as his distances did not account for elevation gain and loss (took us 4 days to figure he was using as the “crow flies”) and his idea of “strenuous” and/or “mild” climbs were woefully inaccurate, and sometimes the exact opposite. The information that the TRT provides, as I look at it now, and their maps are sufficient.
The adventure took us 8 1/2 days. We did not take a single day off, thinking that “Zeros” we’re for wossies. I carried a college ruled notebook and kept a hand written account of each day’s travel/events (I have since evolved). Many lessons were learned, often the hard way, but they would be lessons we’d take with us to the PCT and ones that would prove to quite valuable in our successful thru-hike of the PCT the following summer. The poignant lessons learned were the following:
1. ALL trails start and end with an UPHILL.
2. If you have a choice between three trails and you are not sure which one is correct…choose UPHILL.
3. YES you DO need a size and a half bigger shoe!
4. If you think you are just about at your destination…you have another 2 Miles!
And with that, so begins the account of our adventures on the TRT, and the beginning of 2MoreMiles and a love affair with playing outside. Over the next few days, I will post each day’s adventures, lessons and pictures. We have evolved from this hiking adventure in many ways, and to this day laugh about our foibles and how “green” we were. Enjoy.