Updated: Jan 15
Well, it's November and we're still hiking. 2020 can shove it.
Disclaimer: For this hike, you need two vehicles, unless you plan to hike 25 miles in a day.
We parked one of our vehicles at the finish line at Tunnel Creek and then drove together in our other vehicle up to the Tahoe Rim Trail at Tahoe Meadows, where we would begin our 12-mile hike. We came across many other hikers near the Meadows, as this was a particularly lovely November day and everyone was out sipping up every bit of fall before the snow flies. At least that's what we were out doing.
The hike was mostly easy-going. Nothing too difficult or crazy. When we got to the Diamond Peak ski area, I got this idea that I just had to hike up to Crystal Peak/Express and check out the view. So we took a few minutes to detour up to the top of that and I took a few pics. (I also had thought about going pee somewhere around there, but we came across a small group of hikers hanging around, so I passed for a more desirable opportunity.)
Looking at Lake Tahoe from Crystal Peak.
Looking back at Carson Valley.
Several miles later, when we reached the TRT/Red House Flume Trail intersection, I really had to pee. This is quite a wide-open area with "traffic" able to appear from multiple directions, so not a lot of places to be discreet. But I really had to go, so I just found a boulder to hide behind and tried to do it quickly. As I'm squatting, I can see a male figure coming up from Tunnel Creek, heading our direction. I hurry as much as I can, reassemble, and make my way back over to where my husband was waiting, so I could enjoy my snack.
The male figure I saw approaching was now in our vicinity, and my husband, being the introvert between the two of us, strikes up a conversation with this guy. He appears to be a little exhausted. He asks us some questions about the rest of the trail. We told him we came from Tahoe Meadows, which is 9 miles up the TRT. We told him about Herlan Peak.
The small-talk conversation continues a bit more. We learned he is relatively new to the area, new to hiking, and I'm picking up on a vibe from this guy that he'd enjoy hiking down with some company, so I invite him to hike the rest of the way with us. It was pleasant and we shared a few laughs. He asked us how worried he needed to be about running into bears. We shook our heads and said not much at all, unless it's a mama bear with her cubs. I am pretty sure if he knew me better he would have given me the business for hiking so fast. What. I stopped and took some pretty sunset photos. That counted as a break.
We didn't actually learn his name until the very end of the hike when we said our goodbyes and officially introduced ourselves. He was Jim and I hope he continues getting out and enjoying hiking as much as we do.