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Rcluster - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2009

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Ron & Julie "Snowplow & Rubber Legs" Cluster
City: Eugene
State: OR
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 12, 2009
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Wed, Jul 29th, 2009
Start: On the Coast Starlight in northern CA
End: Pooh Corner, CA - 6000 ft
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 579.4
Entry Lat: 39.31806
Entry Lng: -120.2662

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 504
Journal Visits: 94,659
Guestbook Views: 34,232
Guestbook Entrys: 123

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Pacific Crest Trail Map

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West end of the summit tunnel

Rail history at Donner Pass

The train trip went well. We got into Sacramento at about 6:30am and had a 5 hour layover before the California Zephyr was due to leave for the trip up Donner Pass. We walked a few blocks over to the California State Railroad Museum and checked it out from the outside. It didn't open until 10am so we weren't going to be able to visit this time. The area near the museum has been rebuilt to resemble old Sacramento with storefronts, wooden sidewalks and many different shops.

After getting a Subway sandwich to eat on the train, it was time to head back to the Amtrak station. The Zephyr was about 20 minutes late getting into Sacramento but we finally got aboard and headed east towards Donner Pass. It was fun riding the train up the pass and the scenery was better than from the interstate. For the stretch from Sacramento to Reno at least, there is a volunteer historian on board that explains some of the history of the line. We arrived in Truckee a few minutes late due to a couple of delays we had coming up the pass.

Bill and Molly were there and, as we had arranged on the phone, took us to Donner Summit on old Hwy 40. A short drive through a parking lot takes you right to the west portal of the original summit tunnel of the first transcontinental railroad. This line was still in use until 1993 when Southern Pacific removed the rails on a portion of the original route. You can now walk down the old roadbed for a few miles, through several tunnels and long concrete snowsheds, which is what we did. This is such a historic piece of rail line and it was a real treat to be able to walk it and get photos of the tunnels and snowsheds. After a few miles, the abandoned roadbed rejoins the active line and we walked down an old logging road to Bill and Molly's place on Donner Lake. Well, we tried to anyway. We missed the little side road that their driveway comes off of so we ended up a couple miles past their place way down at the dead end. A phone call to Bill to get directions resulted in him driving down to get us instead.

We had an enjoyable time visiting with them over dinner, and are especially thankful to have had this second time staying with them. Thanks again to both of you for sharing your house with us.

Animal sitings: Deer

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Journal Photo

Ron & Julie On The PCT - 2009

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more:


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