After several days rest, Sandi and I headed back out to the PCT with supplies to last at least four nights, maybe five. Our goal was to hike the 38 mile section from Donner Pass to the Wild Plum campground near Sierra City. I dropped my Jeep at the Wild Plum campground and then Sandi and her husband picked me up and we drove over to the Donner Pass, trail head on I-80. Due to all of the car shuffling, we got a late start and decided that we would make it a short day hike as far as as the Peter Gubb Hut or Paradise Lake a few miles farther.
Half way, we met a hiker who had come from Warren Lake and said the section of the trail we were on was much easier than the last section from Baker Pass. Wow, did that make us feel better. We continued on until we got to Round Valley, which is the location of the Peter Grubb, a Sierra Club hut used mainly in the winter for snowshoers and back country skiers.
Round Valley: Its a great place to snowshoe during the winter... but it is almost five miles from I-80
can you guess what happened?The weather man was totally wrong and the thunder and lightening that had been predicted for south of Highway 50 made it our way instead up to Highway 80. About 1:30 A.M. the lightening lit up the sky and then the rains came, not just a shower here and there but a deluge. Then just about the time I thought it would be safe to go back to sleep the lightening would start again and then the rain. Sandi was really worried about the lightening strikes, but I reminded her that most likely the strikes would hit Castle Peak. Both Sandi and I got drenched. Fortunately, it wasn't cold. I've been in storms when out in the back county before, but not like that and the whole time I was kicking myself for not packing my trusty single wall, but heavy, Bibler Tent. It has proved "bullet proof" in the past. I had packed my much lighter 2 lb tent because good weather had been predicted. ):
The next morning we attempted to dry our tents and sleeping bags but the clouds kept coming and so did the rain. At one point we left everything sitting out on the rocks and headed for the hut which was also sheltering a few other wet folks. The hut was somewhat dry, but dark, and bug infested. Well, folks, we got rained out. Sandi had had it. We packed up our wet gear and headed back to the Donner Pass trail head. Sandi called her husband (gotta love those cell phones) to come and get us.
According to the forest service there were over 500 lightening strikes in the area and lots of small fires ignited. Fortunately, with the rain, none of the fires were vary serious. My son, Jeremy, who is a fire fighter on the Tahoe Forest has been very busy due to those lightening strikes.
Well, it turns out Joel has been really missing my cooking, and couldn't wait for me to catch a flight back to Oregon so he drove down the next day (Tuesday) to pick me up and we drove back on Wednesday...with an extra passenger. Seems we will be dog sitting Rio while Jeremy is out fighting fires.
Looks like Rio Has made herself right at home:
The weather has finally turned nice in Leaburg so we will be here for a few more weeks before we return briefly to Portola to catch up with son #3, Justin and his wife Liz who will be visiting from D.C. ....and of course returning Rio to Jeremy.