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.
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:
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:
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!
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.
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?
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,