Thursday, June 29, 2017

Beat the Heat - Trails - Donner Pass - Pacific Crest Trail

June 2017 brought a weeks worth or more of triple digits.  It was a heat wave, it seemed as the concrete didn't ever cool off.  The options for trail running in Auburn were a bit bleak, and I checked the temperatures for the cooler SF Bay area to run and  it was hot there as well in the Marin Hills. All beach trails within driving distance were hot.  The difference was only 10 degrees.  So 106 or 96.. in the sun it just felt hot.  So I went to my weather guide to find the cool spots in California.  Donner Pass in the Sierras was reporting 80 degrees. SOLD.

It is only about 1 hour and 20 minutes away.  So that is where the adventure began.  I set out to hit the Pacific Crest Trail towards Squaw Valley for a bit of out and back trekking/running.  However when I got there, the trail was snowed in.  A few experienced hard core looking hikers with gear and proper hiking boots reported that there was no one yet able to navigate that section of the trail.

So a bit up the road there was a trail and a hiking routes toward Donner Lake.  It wasn't much of a trail for "running" but it worked out for a nice adventure.  The trails were rocks and sometimes just mountain rock.

The altitude was high and the sun was pretty bright.  But not more than 20 minutes into the hike, a gigantic cloud cover appeared over the mountain and the weather dropped to a blissful 74 degrees.  I set off with phone and water bottle.  There were a few places that were rock that I lost my nerve and confidence in my trail shoes and my own legs so I turned back and did some intervals.  I was able to run ok at that altitude whenever I could find a suitable trail.

I was able to hike on my own for a quite awhile and it felt amazing to have confidence. When I got far away and things seemed a little uncomfortable, I hiked back to what I was calling "base" at the time.

Picture time.... Right???  First off peeking at you!
This is Lake Mary.  The property around it was marked private,
I so wanted to see it.
The rocky trail

I kept going back to look up to those green rocks, so 
Much energy swirling around the mountain. The energy
of survivors, and hikers.  It was very big and beyond
words to describe the beauty.

Donner Lake, the view before the cloud cover.

Beautiful snow melt ponds... crystal clear. Very quiet and

I took off out on the snow, but it was too hard and slippery.
The cloud on its way to provide sunscreen from heaven.

So I went the other direction... I got a feeling I would encounter 
A bear and there were no travelers in this direction so I turned back.
(If I was a bear, I would be hanging out there....)

 My journey on gps.

Spring in June in the Foothills... one of my favorite pictures of the day.

I will make it out to Donner Lake soon.  There is a road around the lake that goes for about Seven miles. I need to "street" and distance train for a 1/2 marathon.   I keep flaking out and going to the hills and mountain trails, can you blame me.  There is so much beauty and the elevations and up hills are making me so strong.

Have a blissful week. Let the sun, moon and beautiful sky remind you of nature's love.
Be well and be joyful.

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