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TRT through ride 2019
Members of the 2nd California Cavalry Company "F" completed a thru-ride/expedition of the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Troopers present:
1st Sgt. William Baldwin (Brian Frontella)
QMSgt. Thomas Carter (Rob Wangberg)
Pvt. O.H. Cambridge (Shawn Mainville)

Resupplies courtesy Pvt. and Mrs. Patrick Shannon (David and Shawn Brown)

Equines:
JD
Cana
Domingo

Pack string:
Buck (mule)
Geri (mule)
Zuni (horse)
Date(s): 9/23/2019-10/08/2019. Album by 2nd cal cav member. 1 - 479 of 479 Total. 70 Visits.
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Day 1- Noon, September 23rd, 2019
Preparing to leave Tahoe City, destination- Watson Lake

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Meeting of the minds
"What do you think, guys? Just an out-and-back today, right"?

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Pvt. O. H. Cambridge
Fresh and ready for patrol.
Mile 0
Elevation 6322 ft.


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On the trail
The initial climb from the trailhead is a good workout.

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Lake Tahoe
The first of many great views of the lake.

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On the rim
With 10 miles to go today.

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Pvt. Cambridge riding "drag"
For 98% of the trip.
Mile 3.3
Elevation 7000 ft.


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Thunder Cliff
Views of the Truckee and Donner Lake areas to the north.

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Pvt. Cambridge on mount Domingo
Pack horse "Zuni" in foreground

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The view forward doesn't change much, does it Pvt?

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Taking a break to adjust equipment
Production value: Note bald eagle soaring overhead.

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1st Sgt William Baldwin
On loyal steed JD

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Different perspective
Photo NOT from the back of a horse.

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Lake Tahoe
One never tires of Tahoe's beauty.

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About 1600 hrs, 1st day
Shadows getting longer.

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Campsite selected
Not perfect, but within regulations.

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Watson Lake
Mile 13.5
Elevation 7775 ft.


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Watson Lake
As the sun rises.

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Day 2 begins
Watering the beasts before continuing the journey.

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Quarter Master Sgt Thomas Carter
Leading the supply train on solid mount Cana.

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17 miles to go
Destination - Mud Lake

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Day 2- 1040 hrs
Some water and forage to be had early in the day.

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Pvt. O. H. Cambridge
In a rare occasion, not riding "drag".

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1300 hrs
Taking advantage of available forage to graze and rest.

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2215 hrs.
Heading to Mud Lake.

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Described as "meadow".
I think of "grass" when I hear the term "meadow".

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Pvt. Cambridge
Also believes meadows should have grass.

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We haven't seen the lake in awhile....

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There it is!

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Getting rocky
No lack of granite here.

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It IS a big lake
On day 2, the prospect of riding all the way around is daunting.

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We have entered Nevada

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Mile 27
Elevation 9000 ft.


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1st Sgt and QMSgt
Topping one of many rises in the trail.

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Switchback
Some of the better opportunities to take photos come at switchbacks.

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One of the best views
Lake Tahoe from the northern end.

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1630 hrs.
Not only granite, but some shale too. Watch your step.

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Unpacked
Setting up camp after an "adventurous" decent to Mud Lake.

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1730 hrs
Mile 31
Elevation 9300 ft


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Mud Lake
Lake shore is sandy with small rocks. Water clear. Never located mud.

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Steep climb
Taxing side hill getting back to the trail from Mud Lake, but on our way again.

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Day 3 - Mud Lake to Tahoe Meadows
Left Mud Lake at 1030 hrs with a 10 mile leg ahead of us.

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Following along
Pvt. Cambridge with pack mule Geri close behind.

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1st Sgt Baldwin on JD followed by Buck the mule and Pvt. Cambridge riding Domingo.

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More switch backs

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Looking North
Views of Slab Cliffs

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"Sit up straight for a photo op"
"I don't want my horse to back up".

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Valid concern
Wouldn't want to leave trail on that side.

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1st Sgt Baldwin
Pvt Cambridge and Mule Geri

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Final ascent
Approaching Relay Peak

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Almost there

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Made it!
Relay Peak
Mile 34.4
Elevation 10285 ft.


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QMSgt T. Carter
With pack horse Zuni atop Relay Peak.

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Surveying the area
1st Sgt. Baldwin takes in the sites.

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Our direction of travel
Tahoe meadows on the right, Snow Pond and Third Creek center left.

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1230 hours - Relay Peak

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Panorama

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Well deserved break

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Nowhere to go but down
Continuing on equestrian cutoff.

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Snow Pond
Mile 37
Plenty of water and grass.


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1630 hrs - Tahoe Meadows
After a small detour concerning equestrian approved trails, we continue to our planned destination.

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Looking back
Mt. Rose summit

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Campsite selected
Mile 42
Elevation 8525 ft.
Per regulations, 100 ft from the trail, 500 feet from Ophir Creek.


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Making a friend
Pvt Cambridge or Dr. Doolittle?

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Day 4 - Tahoe Meadows to Marlette Campground
"Boots and saddles"!
Prepared to depart at 1000 hrs.


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Forest thinning out
13 miles to Marlette Peak Campground.

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Expecting dry conditions
There is reported to be little or no water for the next 30+ miles.

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Laden
All pack animals weighed down with extra water.

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Cavalry on the march

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Approaching east side of mountain range

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View of Carson Valley

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Washoe Lake
Mile 46.8
Elevation 8400 ft.


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Trail well maintained

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Near the ridge
Back to views of Lake Tahoe

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1200 hrs

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Still a pleasant day
It is getting windy.

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1330 hrs
Mile 51
Elevation 7890 ft.
A welcome stop for water at Twin Lakes.


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1400 hrs
On the ridge line again.

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Definately windy

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Hold on to your hats
Marlette Lake with Lake Tahoe in distance.

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Herlan Peak
Mile 52

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Marlette Peak Campground
Elevation 8290 ft.

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1800 hrs
Camp established, but still windy.
No fire tonight- The only place on the trail campfires are allowed.


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Day 5 - 0700 hrs
Uninvited guest wants to join us for breakfast. Video at end of photos

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On the trail - Day 5
Heading for Spooner Summit

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QMSgt. Thomas Carter

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1200 hrs
Nearing the open face of the mountain facing Lake Tahoe.

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13 miles expected today.

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Narrow trail alert

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Pack animals are wide
Had to circumnavigate one spot too narrow for packs.

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Marlette and Tahoe

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Hold on to your ha......

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Never mind.

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Marlette Lake
Mile 57.4
Elevation 8900 ft.


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Mile 60.5
Elevation 8100 ft.


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How far?
Sign at Spooner Summit trailhead

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Edible
The trail appearing as a nutritional value chart.

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Camp- End of day 5
Such as it is in a campsite sparse environment

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Making the best of it
Close to Hwy 50. The tent will blow down within 5 minutes anyway.

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Some grass
No water without traveling over a mile to Spooner Lake.

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Day 6 - 0745 hrs
Awaiting resupply wagon.

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Equestrian Trailhead- Hwy 50
Mile 65.5
Elevation 7150 ft.


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Spooner Lake

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Fed and watered
Freshly resupplied, off to Kingsbury Grade- 14 miles to go.

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1230 hrs
More views of Lake Tahoe.

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Hauling water again
Not expecting any available water until tomorrow.

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Ominus clouds
the ever-present wind might be blowing in a storm.

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Mile 67
Elevation 8150 ft.


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Weather's changing
Windy and cold

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Near Genoa Peak
Mile 70
Elevation 8400 ft.


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Storm approaches

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Great coats
When you need them, they really are great coats.

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Mile 77
Elevation 7350 ft.


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Decieving sunshine

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1st Sgt Baldwin
Better snow then rain I suppose.

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1700 hrs.
Hopefully, closing in on a campsite.

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1800 hrs.
We camp here. Break out the medicinal fluid.

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Campsite
Mile 78.5
Elevation 7000 ft.
Just below Kingsbury Grade.


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Day 7 - 0715 hrs
More snow accumulation overnight.
Video of private "hatching" at end.


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Cold, but no wind

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1100 hrs
Beginning the ascent to Star Lake

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Snowy trail
Snow sticks to boots and horseshoes.

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1200 hrs
The trail is obvious in some places, other times we are following footprints from previous hikers.

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9 miles to Star Lake

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Heavenly. No stranger to snow
Mile 81.4
Elevation 7825 ft.
Passing one of several ski lifts.


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Cooling off again
Time to don great coats.

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Impressive flora
Mile 85.2
Elevation 8450 ft


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Carson Valley
On the eastern edge again.

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1600 hrs.
More snow accumulation at higher elevations.

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Peak above Star Lake
Mile 89.6

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Star Lake
Elevation = 9200 ft

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Wind
Note the wind traveling toward us across the lake.

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A cold night awaits
Men and beasts will be hunkering down.

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Evening- Day 7

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Private Cambridge
Survived sub-zero temperatures.

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QMSgt T. Carter
Survived sub-zero temperatures.

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1st Sgt. W. Baldwin
Survived sub-zero temperatures, despite the wind blowing his shelter away.

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0800 hrs- Equines huddle together for warmth
The men march in circles waiting for the sun to rise and hopefully allow them to pick up everything frozen to the ground.

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Day 8 - 1130 hrs
We had planned on staying here for a day and fishing/relaxing. Rethinking that to find a lower elevation with better shelter.

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Cana, ready to ride.

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Off again
Crossed the outlet of Star Lake. The equine crossing is 18-24" depth with rocky bottom.

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Denied
No Freel Peak for equines.

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Mile 91
Elevation 9700 ft.


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Following footprints
Once again, previous hikers have given us some assistance.

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Windy
The canyons remain breezy.

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Geology
Don't take it for granite.

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Southern end
Seeing Lake Tahoe from the south, and soon turning away for a couple days.

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Pvt. Cambridge
Sporting recently acquired red kerchief.

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Leading
So this is what the front looks like!

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Narrow but passable
Trail in great shape here

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1500 hrs
Looking for the elusive "good" campsite.

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Freel Meadows
Mile 98
Elevation 9245 ft


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Nope
Avoiding a campsite that looks anything like this.

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Pretty campsite
No water, grass or shelter here.

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1700 hrs
Looks as if we have a winner. Grass, water and shelter at a somewhat lower elevation.

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100 Mile barrier broken
Mile 101
Elevation 8500 ft


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Equines happy
After nearly 3 days with only 1/2 rations of grain, this grass is a welcomed delight.

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End of Day 8

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Morning- Day 9

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0800 hrs
Not much wind. Still cold.

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Picket line
With grass on the other side of camp, and good water nearby, we decide to take a "zero" day for the moral of mounts and men.

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0945 hrs - Day 10

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Trail clear
Most of the snow has melted and it seems a pleasant day awaits.

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Mile 103
Elevation 7400 ft


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Approaching Big Meadows

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Bridge to trailhead
1245 hrs

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Big Meadows
Weather good, trail great.

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Mile 105
Elevation 7550 ft.


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Level here
But that won't last. one of the steepest sections of the trail lies ahead. We found ourselves wishing for switchbacks.

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Round Lake
Closed for algae bloom
Mile 107.2
Elevation 8070 ft.


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Beware
Signage and online notices warn against allowing animals to drink the water here. Move on if you're not sure.

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There were some nice looking campsites here.

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Meiss Meadows

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Mile 109
Elevation 8400 ft


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Joining the Pacific Crest Trail

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Good grass and water
Near the headwaters of the Upper Truckee River.

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1300 hrs

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Pvt. Cambridge and Domingo
Smart looking trooper and mount.

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1st Sgt Baldwin and JD
Surveying his mount and equipment. You don't often see 1st Sgt Baldwin without JD ;)

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Beautiful scenery
Now, to find a campsite.

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QMSgt. Carter
With mount- Cana, and pack horse- Zuni

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Still snow in the shade

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Smart leader
Look back now and again to be sure they are following.

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Mile 110
Elevation 8325 ft.


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Crossing the Upper Truckee

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Campsite

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Enjoy the view

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1830 hrs.

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Electronics
Cell service is fickle in this meadow. Find an elevated spot or hill if you need more than 1 bar.

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Day 11
Oct 3rd, 2019

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Day to relax and....

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Ponds and Meiss Lake

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Another "zero" day
Time to relax, watch the wildlife and catch up on meals for man and beast.

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Postcard shot
Photo credit to Pvt. Cambridge (Shawn Mainville)

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Campsite for 2 days

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Upper Truckee River
Actually a stream at this point.

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Atop a nearby hillock

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More grazing

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Day 12, 1100 hrs.
Time to move out again. Expecting a short, uneventful jaunt to Benwood Meadows.

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Enjoying the scenery
Slightly uphill, brush-enclosed trail for the the early section today.

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Showers Lake
Algae warning for this lake too.

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Mile 112
Elevation 8700 ft.


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Higher elevation
More snow.

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Icy portions
Rocky areas in the shade may be treacherous.

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Brush

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Mile 114.5
Elevation 8650 ft.


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Treacherous
Finding hazardous conditions the hard way. A flight of icy, uneven stone steps.

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Equipment check
Re-adjusting gear and allowing our 1st Sgt to take inventory after an unplanned off-trail "excursion".

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Benwood Meadow
Plenty of grass and some available water.

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Mile 118.3
Elevation 7600 ft.


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If it ain't bent, it ain't cavalry
The only lasting damage from the off-trail "excursion".

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Somebody needs a hug

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1645 hrs

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Not a bad campsite
But this is October. It may be a swamp earlier in the year.

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Resting in the twilight

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Day 13 1000 hrs.
A short stint to our resupply, then continuing on to enter Desolation Wilderness.

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Much thanks for resupplies by Pvt & Mrs Shannon
Echo Sno Park

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Fresh supplies and off again

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Watering equines
Upper Truckee River at Echo Lake inlet.

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Equine cut-off
The bridge on the TRT trail proper at Echo Lake is too narrow for stock animals.

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Mile 122
7500 ft.


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Alongside Echo Lake
It's all rock.

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Desolation Wilderness
Somewhat ironic. There were more fellow trail enthusiasts in this section, then the rest of the trail combined.

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Solid granite
Combined with boulders and rock slides.

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Your eyes have a mist
From the smoke of a distant fire.

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Thankful for no snow, ice

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Trail improves
Short section of nice trail.

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Rocks. Again

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Mile 126
Elevation 8300 ft.


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1645 hrs.

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1815 hrs
Nearing our destination of Lake Aloha

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1750 hrs
Arrived, Lake Aloha.

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Mile 128
Elevation 8150 ft.


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Peaceful but crowded

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Surrounded
Natural beauty and abundant campers along the lake shore.

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A look around

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Evening
Camp established to regulations. Little grass, water distant.

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Bears head
Do you see it?

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Day 14 0630 hrs.

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Picket line
Small campsite, We took what was available.

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1000 hrs.
Heading to Dick's Lake or beyond.

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Aloha Lake
North end of the lake.

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Difficult footing
Slick and awkward, even without snow or ice.

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Small meadow
Short break to graze and tend to Zuni's cut leg.

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Mile 129.7
Elevation 8100 ft.


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Base of Jacks Peak

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1200 hrs
Seasonal ponds abound.

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Heather Lake

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Tread lightly
More challenging footing for horses.

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Shale ahead
Traversing the point in the distance involved leading the horses. Better part of valor.

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Susie Lake
Mile 131.3
Elevation 7775 ft.


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Tree roots on trail

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View of Susie Lake
Mile 133.5
Elevation 8400 ft.


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Heading up.

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Many steps today
Cribwork steps aplenty

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Near Dicks Peak
Looking south.

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Rim riding

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Half Moon Lake

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Half Moon Lake

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Dicks Lake

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Must be the top
Not quite.

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Mile 135
Elevation 9150 ft.


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Dicks Pass
Nope. Still going up.
Elevation 9375 ft.


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Finally. On the way down

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1600 hrs  Dicks Lake
Mile 136.5
Elevation 8650 ft.


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Camping site
Just past Fontanillis Lake.

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Sunset
Time to go fishing.

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Day 15  0600 hrs
What's for breakfast cookie?

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Grazing and water again

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Deer visiting
Better then a bear visit.

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1045 hrs
How far today? We shall see.

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Geri the mule

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1245 hrs
Break for lunch.

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Exiting Desolation Wilderness
Mile 147
Elevation 7500 ft


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1530 hrs  Bear Lake
No obvious campsites. Carry on.

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1800 hrs
Campsite. Grass and water abundant.

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Barker Creek
Mile 153
Elevation 7250 ft.


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Day 16 1015 hrs.
If we push on, we can finish today!

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Blackwood Canyon Rd
A promising mileage sign.

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Trailhead

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Approaching Barker Pass

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There it is again
Lake Tahoe from a new perspective.

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Mile 155.5
Elevation 8050 ft.


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This looks kind of familiar
This was where the snow turned us around when we attempted a counter-clockwise trip in July.

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Patchy snow
Snow was 8 feet deep here in July.

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Different
Not sure if it is more imposing bare, or with a covering of deep snow.

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Completed
We have officially completed a through ride of the TRT at this point, but we won't stop now.

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Mile 158
Elevation 7850 ft.


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Long switchbacks

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Somewhat easier
The trail is much more pleasant when not covered in snowdrifts.

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New section
We had circumnavigated this portion in July.

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Nearing the top here

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Granite Chief Wilderness

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Mile 159.5
Elevation 8350 ft.


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1245 hrs

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Leaving the Pacific Crest Trail

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Ward Creek Canyon

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Mile 161.8
Elevation 7600 ft.


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Previous campsite
From July, plenty of grass and water.

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Page Meadow
Mile 167.2
Elevation 6925 ft.


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Getting close

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"Somebody should check...I'..."
View Comments...

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Return to Tahoe City
Crossing the Truckee River.

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Mile 170.8
Elevation 6230 ft.


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Victory!
16 days, 170+ miles complete.

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Celebratory dinner
Some improvement over our usual trail rations for the past 2+ weeks.

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Video: Bear in Marlette Campground

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Video: Pvt. hatches from bedroll

 
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