Back on Trail


Getting dropped off at Donner Pass by Hummingbirds parents

After our trip to Hummingbird’s cabin and yosemite, her parents drove us up to Donner Pass, near Truckee, CA. Because of the long drive from the cabin we didn’t arrive until 7pm. We walked a few miles and found an amazing spot overlooking the valley and a lake below us. We weren’t the only ones who had found this spot though. A few rock climbers were having a late night bouldering sesh about 50 ft from where we set up. After noticing us, they invited us over to hangout with them as they climbed. The night was spent telling stories and talking about future travel plans. One of the guys turned out to be a really awesome photographer. You check out us stuff on instagram by looking up “thehappycamper”. The next day we started back with true backpacking. Even this far out of the Sierras snow was still plentiful. The reason we bounced ahead was to avoid dangerous river crossings and this part of our plan was successful. Despite the slow going, I never once had to ford any rivers.

After trudging through snow for the better part of a day we came to “Peter Grub Hut”, a backcountry ski cabin. The first floor’s entrance was completely blocked by snow but there was a ladder to the second story door so we were able to enter. In the cabin we took our lunch break and had a jam sesh on a guitar left there.

Backcountry Ski Cabin

After our break we hiked the rest of the day eventually camping on dry ground. The next day we dropped in elevation and were able to walk on snow free trail for the first time in weeks. This made me so happy I cannot describe. Additionally, that night I was able to cowboy camp under the stars again. Things seemed to be back to normal. Early on the third morning after starting from Donner Pass we crossed a road leading to Sierra City. Because I knew I would be short on food, Prince, Nick, and I decided to head into town while Hummingbird and Lone Wolf continued on. In town I was able to not only resupply but also eat a burger called The Gut Buster. This burger with a full pound of meat definitely lived up to its name and we all headed back to the trail full and happy to be walking on dry ground once again.

Backpacking on Trail!!

Side Note: I love hearing from everyone in the comments! It makes me so happy to see people are not only reading about my adventures, but enjoying them! Sadly, I cannot respond to comments because I am updating my site from a phone. But nevertheless, let me know what you think!

Noel Nelson (pct mile 1195)

5 Replies to “Back on Trail”

  1. I enjoy the pictures you share. It makes me want to visit some of those placed but it won’t be on foot. I’m sure those days are passed for me. Keep this legs churning and pics posting. Be safe.

  2. Donner Pass!! I remember that from history lessons!! Wagon train days!! And one of Randall’s favorite songs by John Denver called “Darcy Farrow” mentions the Truckee River!! I wonder if that’s close to you?

    I’m so glad to hear your update!! Prayers are always sent to God on your behalf!! Keep safe and enjoy!!

  3. Man do I love snow but hiking in it is a totally different story! All of your pictures are so pretty. Thanks so much for sharing. What a cool experience you are having.

  4. Noel! You are having the adventure of a lifetime, I look forward to every update that you can give. You continue your exciting journey safely and keep posting your amazing stories. Oh and I found “thehappycamper” he is really talented! Stay safe and prayers for you and your travel buddy!

  5. Noel,
    We LOVE reading of your adventures!! We don’t always respond, but it’s always so much fun to pick up where we left off and read of the many adventures and people you meet! It sounds like you are truly having the time of your life! We’re hoping we can visit your parents’ ranch one day and be able to hear of your stories first hand!

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