Saturday, August 31
Start: Spooner Summit Trailhead
End: Kingsbury Junction South
Miles: 18.6 (+0.5 side trail to parking lot, +0.8mi walk to Tramway Market for cash for the bus and snacks)
Elevation gain/loss: 4541’/4173′
I was up at 6:30am this morning, and called a Lyft at 7am, arriving at the trailhead by 7:30am. From Spooner Summit Trailhead, I headed up towards Genoa Peak. Along the way, I had some great views of Lake Tahoe.
Near the high point, there was a bench, where I had a delicious Nutella snack. From there, it was a long downhill towards Kingsbury Grade (7110′). From there, I decided to push onward and head up towards Kingsbury Junction South (7800′) and the 0.5 mile side trail to the parking lot.
I arrived at Kingsbury Junction South trailhead around 1:30pm and walked to the bus stop. I waited for the once-an-hour bus and then was told that I had to have exact cash to ride. They refused to take me two stops down to the market that has an ATM. I walked the 0.8mi to the market, and got cash and snacks, chatted with the woman working the register, and hung out on their porch until the bus came back around an hour later.
It’s weird to be done, completely, with my two planned thru hikes for 2019. They felt different than I was anticipating, especially the TRT. It was much less remote than expected, and was frequented by local day hikers and mountain bikers. I nearly got run over and was scared out of a year of growth more than a dozen times by mountain bikers roaring down the trail. The trail also passed over ATV and 4 wheel trails fairly frequently, which changed the flavor of the trail for me. I was pleasantly surprised at how much of the trail could be accessed by public transportation. I was disappointed at the limited access to water (sometimes more than 20 miles), especially in places that should have had water but didn’t (like Marlette campground where the pump was broken). In some ways, it reminded me of local long trails back home, where they were clearly not designed or intended to be backpacking trails due to the lack of water access. In any case, I’m glad and a little sad to be done, but I’m also ready to go home. Until my next adventure (which should be soon, since I plan to head back to the ‘Dacks to finish up the Northeast 111/115 in September and October)!