Fall in South Lake Tahoe is a splendid time of year. Having multiple days off was much needed for our minds and bodies. There is always something to do in the Lake Tahoe area and we spent our days off scattered to the wind. We came back together at the library on Sunday night and heard about everyone's weekend with stories and a massive Ice Cream Cake.
We got up early and noticed that it was still dark well into our morning routine. We met Justin, our PCTA contact, at the trailhead and talked with him for a while after we were packed up for our 5 day hitch. We were given the goal of rehabilitating a ½ mile section of old jeep track, which the current PCT and the Tahoe Rim Trail use. A two track road running through pristine meadows needed to be reduced to a single track hiking trail.
We set up camp near the historic Miess Cabin with the headwaters of the Truckee River flowing right behind it. We didn't waste any time and got to work that day tilling the earth on the track we wanted to close down. It was different work than we've had most of this year and it was a nice change of pace to rehabilitate a section of tread rather than create new trail. We spent the next 4 days tilling the downhill track and transplanting both live and dead plants. There's no perfect way to rehab an old road through a meadow but you can at least give the land the time it needs by keeping people off of it.
Vertical mulch is what some people call it. Burying stuff is what others say. We hauled dirt and branches, rocks, leaves, and grass to cover the lower track until it became a creative thing. It was interesting to see what sorts of things people were finding to block the lower track. A giant mushroom was one of the best. By the end of thursday we had successfully blocked off and started a rehabilitation process for a 0.6 mile section of the PCT. We spent the last day going the south on the trail clearing brush and doing basic tread maintenance. It was a slow hike out to the parking lot but a great way to finish the hitch and soak in some final views.