Partying with the Donners and Tinker Knob
Beginning Elevation = 7,800
Ending Elevation = 7,950
Elevation Range = 7,000 – 8,750
Weather: Sunny and clear, high of 70°F
We slept in a good while up in our cabin loft. Our Hunter friends, Tony and Dan, had left in the early morning hours. I think it was around 8:00am when we all made our way down-ladder from the loft to the breakfast table.
Back in Downieville, at Sabrina’s on the River, we’d each been given a pour over coffee and so we had fun trying those out this morning. Bold and rich with subtle notes of mahogany and vanilla nougat…
I took some more photos of the cabin this morning too since it was so rad…
It had a two story outhouse too…
And some sort of room where I’d imagine folks take off their skis and winter stuff…
I think we left around 10:30am. We had a short climb up to Castle Pass and then about a 3 mile descent down to a rest stop for folks traveling along Interstate 80. We actually didnt know this was in the plans for today and so it was a bit shocking when we started hearing road traffic and then popped out amongst the cars, people, and semi-trucks. We had only a moments pause thinking we might say forget this PCT business, to the Jersey shore we go! Instead, we stayed for a bit utilizing the cell service, then found the trail again, and tunneled under the interstate!
There was one tunnel for each eastbound and westbound highway. Soon after, we met a nice couple who introduced themselves as trail angels. They were cheerful and asked lots of questions before we said adeau.
It was a short hike to get to Donner Pass (yep, the one named after the Donner Party), the Highway 40 Scenic Bypass, and a quick road walk to the Donner Ski Ranch. We hadn’t known that the ski resort had a restaurant until last night, and so we were pretty excited to find it and have a lunch stop there!
We got a bit sucked into the pleasantries of the restaurant and once again stayed quite a while. Once wrapped up and ready to pay our bill however, we were told it was covered already…the nice couple we’d met earlier on trail had stopped in, seen us, and sneakily paid it! So much love shown to me/us along this journey!
I think it was something like 3:30pm when we left. We had a climb ahead of us and the motivation to hike wasn’t really there at first. On went the headphones.
I thought this find along the trail was pretty neat…
Soon Calzone took the lead and led us up across an open ridge to Tinker Knob, a large rock structure/mountain where we got up to 8,800 feet elevation.
The last part of the day was downhill and enveloped in an orangish glow of sunlight…
Cheer was the first to the campsite we’d picked out. After going about 0.2 miles past and turning around, Calzone and I joined her. Keeping with tradition, we set up and ate together in the dark. The stars were spectacular this night and we stayed out later again chatting it up. As we near the end of our journey, there’s lots to talk about!
Armageddon – The Album
The Sleeping At Last Podcast – “One” & The Enneagram