Friday, July 27, 2012

Fri, July 27 - Donner Pass

Had a  great sunset yesterday and a view of the moon hovering over the rocky summit of Anderson Peak behind the cabin.  Then a nice sunrise as well this morning.  Saw a few mice at dinner but a note said they can't get onto the table so I put everything there and had no problems. 

Met up with Natty & Navi again on the long ridge line hike this morning but left them at Roller Pass.  Roller Pass is a spot where they had to haul the wagons straight up the rocky slope to go west in the old days.  I left the PCT to hike the longer and higher Judah Loop over the summit of Mt Judah and then over to Donnor Summit.  Very cool rocks to climb and great views of Donnor Pass and Donnor Lake.  Donnor Summit is an out and back then Judah Loop returns to the PCT before Donnor Pass.

After crossing the road I saw a plaque about the Great Summit Train Tunnel that was build to connect the country by train by Chinese workers.  Great views from the other side of the pass of the train tunnel and Donnor Summit.  Here I met a grandfather with his grand kids, age 6 & 7, out on their first hike.  We sat and talked and I ended up with a ham sandwich, strawberries, a power bar, and three new friends. 

A second crossing of Donnor Pass was through a tunnel under the road.  I stopped at the highway rest stop hoping for vending machines but no luck.  A nice plague about the Donnor Party though.  At Castle Pass I thought hard about climbing Castle Mountain but it was a good two miles up and another 2000 feet of elevation.  Save this for another tirp.   The Peter Grubb Hut was crowded, musty, and had lots of tents.  Kind of glad I am not staying here tonight. 

Was going to camp at White Rock Creek but that had lots of tents and mosquitoes too - it's the start of the weekend.  Decided to hike on hoping to camp high on the ridge away from the bugs.  I came to a sign for Snow Bank Spring so I dumped my water and refilled with this fantastic ice cold spring!  I then found a nice spot on the ridge to dry camp cowboy style.  I guessed wrong on the bugs because the wind stopped around 8:30pm and out they came. 
Sunrise from Benson Hut

Anderson Peak - yesterdays sunset hike

Roller Pass

Summit of Mt. Judah

Donnor Summit and view of Donnor Lake/Pass

Train Tunnel at Donnor Pass

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