Time in Reno, NV

Travis prepared this blog post for everyone – Enjoy!

“My Uncle Thomas and his amazing wife Virginia were incredibly influential figures during my adolescence. More than once they extended an invitation for a visit to their home in the San Francisco Bay Area. The trips always included amazing adventures like mountain biking Mt. Tamalpais or free diving for Abalone on the coast north of the bay. The trips also provided time for me to explore and observe the functions of a great city. My parents could rest assured to my safety while I used BART to explore Oakland, San Francisco, Stanford, Marin County alone on foot, bike, by rollerblade, and bus. In hindsight these trips were incredibly influential on me and a gift that I still treasure and reflect on with great fondness.

It is not every day that you get to share a new experience with someone who has lived a rich and full life like my Uncle Thomas. Last week Lauren and I got to take my Uncle Thomas backpacking for the first time. He has camped out of a car many times and completed many day hikes including a 23 mile hike only a few days before. Combining the two was a natural next step, as well as a good push toward his goal of completing the 165 mile Tahoe Rim Trail (https://www.tahoerimtrail.org/) this summer. It was special for us to share in his journey and impart some of the camping and hiking skills we have been honing for the past few months.

On our 32 mile section from Echo Summit to Barker Pass we traversed the Desolation Wilderness, crossed creeks, snow, scree and survived gale force winds through the night. Tom was a great sport and heeded our instructions through two long and windy days.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The rest of our trip to Reno included a few highlights including a visit their beautiful house. Their love of plants reminded us how much we miss our garden:

love of plants

Thanks to the hospitality of Mark Bloom and Mike Martini we were able to tour the stunning Patagonia Reno distribution facility.


By far the most amazing part of the tour was seeing the team and resources “behind the scenes” of the Patagonia Worn Well initiate (http://wornwear.patagonia.com/). I’ve sent garments in for repair in the past but never imagined the size, scale and talent of the largest textile repair facility in North America:

2nd patagonia

I’m looking forward to sending in my Patagonia Houdini and Patagonia Rock Craft pants in for repair as soon as this trip is over!

We even managed to get Lauren into her first Casino! She won and quickly cashed out for the night with a 50% earning!

Aunt Lauren in reno


The other highlight was the assistance from Thomas, Virgnia and our friend Caleb to enable us to capture a few sections of trail without our packs. Trail running is wicked fun.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When hiking for hundreds of miles, Lau Land and I have come to fantasize about the miles where we can leave our backpacks behind and trail run. With the amazing and generous help of Caleb Campbell, Thomas Nichols, Virginia Keeley and the Reno Running Company we were able to grab two amazing days of sun filled ridge-line running. We started with Barker Pass to Squaw Valley Resort (17.66mi, 3740′ gain) followed by the Squaw Valley to Interstate 80 section (18.77mi, 3323′ gain). These two endorphin filled days were some of the most fun we have had in the last hundred miles, we can’t wait to ditch the packs again!

We did have two notable events. On our first day out, we were so psyched to leave the packs behind we ignored logic and only took 380cal each… The result was allot of fun until mile 13 when we both started to crash and push the body much farther than either of us wanted to go. Once we safely made it off the mountain and to a grocery store, other shoppers noted how zombie like we appeared as we hugged precious calories to our chest as we stumbled to the check out line using only incoherent single word sentences.

The second running day, with a overcompensation of food weight in the pack, we headed out again. Lau Land pulled her signature trail slide, the third time on this trip. Beyond the dust we were grateful she was OK this time with only minor bruising. We are thinking of giving her the trail name “Home Plate” or “Dust Buster” after the repeated slides. Any other suggestions for someone who has a propensity to do a full body chest slide every-time she runs?

‪#‎PCT ‪#‎MEClimbing Mountain Gear

Our time in the Tahoe/Reno/Truckee area was special because of the people we were able to spend it with. We came in ragged, tired, and dirty. Thanks to the amazing hospitality of Thomas and Virginia we are once again healthy and happy, ready to hit the trail.”

Until next time,

~Linda =)


They are off!

Here’s a quick snap shot of LauTrav headed back out on the trail on July 9th with their Uncle Tom:


Tom (Travis’ Dad’s brother), Travis and Lauren heading out on their 34.7 miles hike. I’ll pick them up tomorrow evening at about 6:00.  They are covering the area Echo Summit near So. Lake Tahoe to Barker Pass with one overnight in the Desolation Wilderness.  LauTrav have invited others to join them in hiking sections.  Marty and I noticed what looks like new shoes for this hike?

Anyway, the Desolation Wilderness:  The Desolation Wilderness, encompassing 63,475 acres of rugged alpine terrain, is a spectacular area of subalpine and alpine forests, jagged granitic peaks, and glacially formed valleys and lake basins. Here on both sides of the Sierra Nevada, averaging 12.5 miles in length and 8 miles in width, you’ll find elevations ranging from about 6,500 feet to almost 10,000 feet. Mostly lacking in dense vegetation, Desolation is a glacially smoothed expanse west of Lake Tahoe. . You’ll discover numerous streams and approximately 130 lakes, some reaching 900 acres in size. Snow often blocks the high passes until mid-July. Long recognized for its mountain splendor, Desolation Valley Primitive Area was established in 1931 and then granted Wilderness status in 1969. The Pacific Crest Trail traverses about 17 miles of the Wilderness north-south, and at one point crosses Dicks Pass (9,380 feet), the highest pass between here and Canada. (http://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/wildView?WID=155 )  (Side note, there is a lot of great information on wilderness.net and the site is done by the University of Montana)


Below are some pictures  of the trail head for Barker’s Pass as well as some other scenic pictures of the area they were hiking (all pics courtesy of Google Images).

Quite amazing vistas! What a beautiful country we live in.   I found this wonderful panoramic of Lake Tahoe:

Lake Tahoe


Huge thanks to Aunt Virginia who sent the picture of them and provided me the updated hike information.

Until next time,

~ Linda =)

1000 Miles and Reno

On July 9, LauTrav posted up two pictures showing they’ve crossed 1000 miles!  Completely amazing, right?


Mile 1000 happens on Page 8 of Section I ( ca_section_i_map ).  They were around Cinko Lake Trail Junction in the High Sierras when they crossed achievement.

*Pictures courtesty of Google Images

While I included a picture of Cinko Lake, I’m not sure the PCT would have taken them there.   They have checked in with Travis’ relatives in Reno and are out for a short two day hike.  They’ll be back to Reno today (July 11).


Until next time,

~Linda =)


July 3 Mile 1017

I received an update from Marty last night (Sunday July 3).  LauTrav just called and are in the tourist They think they are 4-5 days from South Tahoe.  town of North Kennedy Meadows (Long Barn, CA). They are at MP 1017/  Sonora Pass.   This places at them on page 10 of Section I (ca_section_i_map  )and moving into Section J Page 1 (ca_section_j_map ). They are close to finishing the Central California Section.  In this section, they will have crossed 8 passes that are over 11,000 feet, including Forester Pass which is the highest on the entire trail at over 13,000 feet!  Pretty amazing for their first 1000+ miles on the trail.

+*all pictures from Google images.

They had paid $2 to use a pay phone.  No cell service.  It was $6 for a shower, so they are headed back out to the trail without one.  Sure makes you appreciate being able to walk into the bathroom and take a hot shower!

Their upcoming hike  will take them along the following: “After crossing Highway 108 at Sonora Pass (elev. 9,620′), the trail begins a generally subalpine, relatively level traverse that stays close to the Sierra crest until this section ends at Interstate 80 (elev. 7,200′). Volcanic rock formations can be found north of Yosemite, with increasing frequency from Sonora Pass to Echo Summit at Highway 50, and again near this section’s end, north of the Granite Chief Wilderness.

Plants in this section include corn lily, snow plant, red fir, Jeffrey and ponderosa pine at lower levels; and mule ears, mountain hemlock and weather-twisted white bark pines near treeline. Animals include marmot, coyote, deer and black bear.

Mountain chickadee, junco, Steller’s jay, Clark’s nutcracker and red-tailed hawks serenade visitors’ ears.” (http://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/geography/central-california/)  All images from Google Images.

In closing, Lauren said today was the most beautiful scenery yet.  She is looking forward to more. Roger is explaining the Geology/environment of the area to Travis.  They both sound well but trail worn.

Thanks for stopping by to see how LauTrav are doing. If you want to send care packages, please read this post.  Until next time,


Tangent off the trail

LauTrav called to check in a few days back to let us know they took a tangent off the trail.  When check-ins are around the first of the month, it’s hard for me to get a post done right away due to my work obligations.  They hiked the John Muir Trail (page 1 of Section I –ca_section_i_map )

“The John Muir Trail passes through what many backpackers say is the finest mountain scenery in the United States. This is a land of 13,000-foot and 14,000-foot peaks, of lakes in the thousands, and of canyons and granite cliffs. The John Muir Trail is also a land blessed with the mildest, sunniest climate of any major mountain range in the world.

The trail is 211 miles long and runs (mostly in conjunction with the PCT) from Yosemite Valley to Mt Whitney, in California. Winding through the famed Sierra Nevada, the JMT visits some of the crown jewels of America’s park system: Yosemite, John Muir and Ansel Adams Wildernesses, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. The John Muir Trail section of the Pacific Crest Trail will mark you forever.” (http://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/john-muir-trail/)

I’m just amazed at the geographical changes over the trail.  Some interesting history of the trail:

“Exploring and mapping of the High Sierra was done in the late 1800′s by men like Theodore Solomons, Bolton Brown and Joseph LeConte. Solomons has been referred to as the “father’ of the JMT and was quoted as saying “the idea of a crest-parallel trail came to me one day while herding my uncle’s cattle in an immense unfenced alfalfa field near Fresno. It was 1884 and I was 14.”

To understand the history of the trail, look no further than the life of its namesake. John Muir was a famous 19th century naturalist and conservationist who was instrumental in the development of the National Park system and the fight to help preserve the American wilderness.” (http://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/john-muir-trail/jmt-history/)

Moving on from the John Muir Trail, LauTrav got a permit to hike the Half Dome in Yosemite!  Not like they are getting enough hiking in these days. =)

“The 14- to 16-mile round-trip hike to Half Dome is not for you if you’re out of shape or unprepared. You will be gaining elevation (for a total of 4,800 feet) most of your way to the top of Half Dome. Most would say the reward is worth the effort. Along the way, you’ll see outstanding views of Vernal and Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap, Half Dome, and–from the shoulder and summit–panoramic views of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra.

Most hikers take 10 to 12 hours to hike to Half Dome and back; some take longer. If you plan on hiking during the day, it’s smart to leave around sunrise (or earlier) and then have a non-negotiable turn-around time. For instance, if you haven’t reached the top of Half Dome by 3:30 pm, you will turn around. Check for sunrise and sunset times before you hike. Regardless, each person should carry a flashlight or headlamp with good batteries (hikers commonly struggle down the trail after dark because they don’t have a flashlight). Although the trail is well marked, you should be prepared with a good topographic map and compass and know how to use them.” (https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/halfdome.htm)

“The most famous–or infamous–part of the hike is the ascent up the cables. The two metal cables allow hikers to climb the last 400 feet to the summit without rock climbing equipment. Since 1919, relatively few people have fallen and died on the cables. However, injuries are not uncommon for those acting irresponsibly.

The Half Dome cables usually go back up the Friday before Memorial Day (conditions permitting) and come down the day after Columbus Day. ” (https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/halfdome.htm)

LauTrav called Honey Dear (our Mom) from the top of Half Dome.  As they relayed the information about their climb up, they shared that the cables were the most interesting part of the climb, stating that part of it were terrifying as hikers are going up and down at the same time.  A water bottle fell past Lauren at one point.

As you can see from previous pictures they are seeing some amazing scenery and are appreciating the incredible country we live in!   While I’ve gotten all of these pictures off of Google, I’m sure their pictures will be amazing when I get them.

Until next time,

~ Linda =)

*Photo Credits: Google