81. June 30 Mile 1141.50 Campsite to Mile 1153.20 Donner Pass
Only a short spurt through the snow early in this morning before we had a really nice, long snowless stretch to really crush some miles. We knew we could make it to Donner Pass and Truckee by the evening so we were keen to get moving. There were a few pretty big snow fields to cross that were fairly steep, but I felt a lot more confident today and got though them without much fanfare.
Glowworm and I were really wanting to find a place to stay in town for just the night and get back on the trail tomorrow, but Dr. McDirty wasn’t too hot on spending too much time or money in town so he wanted to camp. I called around to various hotels in town and everything was ridiculously expensive. It occurred to me, though, that it’s July 4th weekend and since this is a ski town around Lake Tahoe everyone is piling in for the holiday weekend. Even the hostel was expensive. $60 a night for bed! Insane! So camping it is…
We approached a large snowy slope with a ski lift on top of the ridge and it looked like the trail went straight up, but the map showed that it maintained elevation along the ridge. After some scouting we realized that the trail crossed the obnoxiously steep slope so we opted to climb the several hundred feet up to the ski lift before glissading down to the trail.
The decent down to Donner Pass was still pretty snowy, but at this point it was just like anything else and we celebrated by going to a ski lodge restaurant to chow down. A massive order of nachos, rueben sandwich, a slice of peach pie a la mode, and two beers later we waddled back to our tent to bed down for the night. Tomorrow we’ll go into town and resupply before getting back on the trail.