Jul 30, 2010

Lyons Creek Trail

Tyler and I also headed to Lyons Creek for a day hike. It was great for the dogs as it was an easy trail straight to the creek. Tinker got to swim a ton up stream and Topo got to test out more water. It was a nice day in the mountains!
The trail head is on the Wright’s Lake Road. You go towards Tahoe about 8 miles from the cabin and then there is a little left turn lane. Hang a left and then climb the steep mountain. Once the road levels out it is on the right.

Jul 29, 2010

Dad is Free at last!

From Mom and Dad: So in a nutshell the chief of neurosurgery at Mayo says "Do nothing". The neurologist ordered a new CT which shows a small improvement and I have a normal Neurology exam so why do surgery? So we are off to Mt Rushmore on Monday. Free at last, free at last, Lord Almighty, free at last.

The hospitality in Rochester has been so exceptional, we're almost sad to leave. Almost.

Charter Fishin on Lake Tahoe

We decided to embrace our stay at Lake Tahoe since it turned out to be just Tyler and Claire at the cabin. We rented a charter fishing boat! We met the boat at 6:30AM and headed out on the beautiful Lake Tahoe. There was 6 of us on the boat plus the captain and a helper. We had 10 poles in the water and it so so exciting when one got a bite. Overall Tyler caught 3 and Claire caught one. We took Claires to a local pub and they cooked it up for her real nice. The poor fish was a fresh water Salmon and boy was it good :)

Jul 21, 2010

Plan B finalized TRT

Welcome back! Plan B is ready to be put into motion. I will be rejoining the TRT at the Kingsbury North Trail Head (at the parking lot of Heavenly Ski Resort). I will be doing a HUGE one day solo trip to the Big Meadow Trail Head (22 miles) where I will camp for one night. The next morning, Saturday, I will hike the 20 miles around the southern section of the TRT to meet up with Zach, Ann, Dan and Topo at Echo Lakes. This will be stuffing 3 days of hiking into 2...but I'm game! It will also limit my solo nights on the trail to just one night...since some people are worried. I won't say names MOM! My SPOT WILL be working properly, I just wasn't holding the stupid button long enough to activate tracking mode. I will have that ironed out, and I will be knocking out MAJOR back to back day hikes to get caught up.

Tomorrow will be more relaxing at the cabin trying to get ready to do 42 miles in 2 days.

Starting watching that SPOT link early on Friday morning as I will be moving fast.

Until then...

Jul 20, 2010

Update on the Tahoe Rim ... area. TRT

As you are probably wondering how, I am updating the blog...from the comfort of my families cabin 45 minutes south of Lake Tahoe. Here is how we ended up here...and here is what is coming up next!

Day 1, we started strong, 12.5 miles with lots of elevation as we worked our way towards Watson Lake. Zach starting getting "hot spots" (the beginnings of blisters) less than 6 miles in. We made it safely to camp though, and had a sleepless night because a group of high school kids was throwing a HUGE party on the same lake as we planning our peaceful evening.

Day 2, we started early...no thanks to the lack of sleep. We had a VERY big day ahead of us. 17.5 miles, with the last 11 being a constant climb. We literally climbed NONSTOP! We finally arrived at Gray Lake late in the afternoon and found a very peaceful camping spot! Through out the day Zach was showing signs of major foot fatigue, erratic gate, awkward foot placement, and changing socks mid-day....these are not good signs at this point in a 168 mile hike, but we soldiered on. Topo was also starting to struggle. The temps were in the mid 80's all day and well into the evening. Water was non-existent on the trail and Topo developed a bit of a limp early in the day (could be from his solo whitewater river trip when he jumped in the creek at the cabin...another story altogether).

That brings us to Day 3...today. BIG CLIMB right out of the gate. We lost the trail from Gray Lake back to the TRT, and ended up climbing one mile straight up a boulder field...tough on the legs and feet! Zach's feet were already killing him. We pushed on though, and summited the high point of the TRT on Relay Peak and were high in spirits! Topo was still a wreck, but a good nights sleep and an Ibuprofen seemed to help him out. Once we summited Relay, we knew it was 4 miles down a road to Tahoe Meadows, then another 13 miles to the next camp (and only water source in the area) which made Day 3 a 21 mile day. 2 miles below Relay we came to a trail crossing. We thought the TRT went down the road, but on inspecting the map it actually shot off another direction, which added 3 miles to the 4 mile road and a lot of climbing. We finally popped out on the Mt. Rose highway completely out of water and running nearly 3 hours behind schedule. Zach was in worse shape than ever before. I followed him for the roughly 1 mile from Mt. Rose trail head to the Tahoe Meadows trail head where we were to start the last 13 miles of the day. When we stopped at Tahoe Meadows, I knew we were in trouble. Zach was down to roughly 1 mph, limping, no appetite and shaking uncontrollably. Which brings us to Plan B....which we invented on the taxi ride back to the car from Tahoe Meadows.

Plan B - I would have liked to have left Zach and Topo at Tahoe Meadows to fend for themselves, but it was just to late in the day to make it on my own to the next camp, and damn it...we started this as a team! So Plan B has been hatched.

Topo and Zach are going to lay low at the cabin for the rest of the week. I am going to get back on the trail the day after tomorrow (the only reasonable spot I can pick up the schedule) and solo my way to Echo Summit. At this point Zach and Topo along with Zach's wife Anne, and my buddy Dan are going to join in the fun and we will all hike together through Desolation Wilderness.

So the bad news is that nobody in our group is going to thru-hike the Tahoe Rim Trail this trip. The good news is, we are all ok, Zach's feet will heal...I think. And Topo still loves me...I think.

I have been told the GPS updates weren't coming. MY BAD! I thought I knew how to work that thing, I will get that ironed out and fired up for my solo 2 days on the trail and for the rest of the hike. Thanks for sticking around! Check back in a couple days and I will be back on the trail!

Jul 18, 2010

Bye Bye Sun

What type of people steal a decorative metal sun off of someone elses house at 5:30 on a Sunday morning? I was so out of it I thought someone was taking out the trash thinking it was Monday morning ... I will miss that Sun and filling kinda violated. All i wanted was to sleep in, thanks thieves for making me feel uncomfortable in my own home...
We recieved the sun from Cate and Wayne when we moved into our home almost 5 years ago. It has been in the same spot since we put it up.

Its time, TRT

It's Sunday morning. Yikes.

We have had a productive weekend! The drive from Phoenix went well, I picked up Zach right on time as planned and we made it safely to the small town of Kyburz, CA. Claire's family has an awesome cabin on the creek in Kyburz, and Zach, Topo and I held up there for one night.

On Friday we got up early and left the cabin to get our first look at Lake Tahoe. WOW...IT'S HUGE! We stopped in at the Echo Lake Store to try and leave a food cache with them, they informed us that the only food caches allowed in their storage room had to be mailed there (they are catering to the Pacific Crest Trail thru hikers). While we were there we met a PCT hiker. A 17 year old guy who had been on the trail for 1,100 miles and 4 months. He was taking the year between high school and college to hike the trail. Super nice guy, I hooked him up with some Power Bars, which he was excited about.

Our first food cache was placed in the woods near the Echo Summit store. From there, we headed for the East side of the lake to meet the owner of the dog boarding facility where Topo will go if he can't complete the hike. Then we moved north to place our next food cache at Spooner Summit.

After Spooner Summit we stopped in to the Tahoe Rim Trail Association office, met the ladies that had helped us with our planning and then opted to use one of the TRT Associations free bear canister for our hike.

From there, I made a quick phone to a lady that I had met only be phone as I planned the hike. She section hiked the TRT with her dog last year and lives only a few minutes from where the trail crosses the Mt. Rose Hwy. So Kathy and her 3 dogs met us up at Big Meadows and we took all the dogs for a short walk and went over the map with Kathy getting advice on different sections. THANKS KATHY! It was great to meet you!

After that we headed into Truckee to relax and have a cold one at the Brewery. I ended up boarding Topo at a dog kennel here in Truckee...sneaking him into the Hampton wasn't going to work (stinkin' surveillance cameras!).

Sunday was pretty uneventful. We got our last food cache placed at Barker Pass, got my fishing license and then took a nap in the hotel room while Zach went and laid pool side.

That brings us to today. We are having breakfast here at the Hampton, then we need to go bust Topo out of the clink and make one stop in to a sporting goods store (I broke the bite valve on my camelback packing it last night). We are thinking about grabbing a Subway sandwich for the trail and are planning on hitting the trail around 10 am.

A year of planning, stressing, replanning, spending, replanning and stressing some more is over.
It's time.

Jul 13, 2010

Map of TRT

Hello again. I am packing up tonight, and I hit the road for Tahoe tomorrow! I was just scanning over the Google Earth map I have created. I have added over 100 points to Google Earth, everything from our camping spots to creeks, and scenic view points. I cleaned it up to only show the camping spots and were our food caches will be located and thought I would post it here on the blog. The start and finish spots are the same spot, and we are hiking the trail clockwise. So you can get a very broad view of what we have in store.

Jul 11, 2010

Come with us Virtually! TRT

Thanks for checking back in our blog. Lucky for you, you can take a peak where we are from the comfort of your desk chair!

This is how this works....

I will have with us a SPOT GPS device. This small orange GPS unit simply transmitts our exact location every 10 minutes and posts it on my personal SPOT page. I will have the SPOT in transmit mode while we are hiking, everyday. There are a couple catches though, it only holds 7 days of memory...which on a normal hike would easily show everything while we are on the trail...but this is not a normal hike! So on the 8th day it will start loosing our first days transmissions. The other noteable thing about SPOT is that it doesn't always successfully send tracking messages...trees, mountains, cloud cover or just interference can mess with the signal so you might see some gaps in the messages.

So with all that being said, here is the link! Just click on the link anytime starting next Sunday the 18th and enjoy checking out our location! Save the page to your internet favorites and check in often!

Jul 10, 2010

V-Strom Adventures

So far today has been a GREAT day! Woke up early, took the motorcycle out with Claire to get breakfast at the end of a curving mountain road, then I watched World Cup, then I took a nap and now Tyler is sitting around in my boxers and watchin TV. C'est magnifique

Jul 8, 2010

Dad Updates

From Mom and Dad: So the latest on Wayne’s holey head is that there is no change. We saw the surgeon today after another CT scan and he saw virtually no change from 3 weeks ago. So the leak has stopped for the moment. He assumes that there is some sort of membrane still there from the hematoma keeping the brain from retaking the space it should. Normally the brain reoccupies the space in the course of 3 months. But my brain did not get the memo so it is still squished about 1 inch down on one side by an unwelcome fluid. However I continue to have no symptoms & am feeling fine.

He gave us 3 options:

* Do nothing and image again in a month.
* Do a similar surgery again to evacuate the hematoma using two of the existing holes plus a 3rd new one (i.e. - try again with more of the same)
* Do a craniotomy: which means removing a piece of the skull to get better access and snip away the hematoma membrane that is on top of the brain. The skull piece is then reattached with titanium bolts.

So there is bad news and good news: The bad news is that it is not better and the good news is that it gives us time to complete our Mayo Clinic visit on July 29th before doing another surgery.

We also have another MRI scan Friday, with and without contrast, to rule out any type of lesion that might be causing the hematoma.