Hiking Stats as of 11/11/2019
Total Trips:
Total Distance:
Total Elevation Gain:
 3,891.68 miles
 1,060,050 feet

Jul 19, 2015 - Nonsummit - Peak 8085


Partners: Marcus "Barkus" Breen

Distance: 7.16 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,585 feet

Trip Time: 2:49

Maps and Stats:
After a mostly successful hike to Peak 8997 with Marcus the day before, I researched another peak that we could try Sunday before heading back down to the Central Valley. I slept in a bit, waking after 7 AM and taking Sierra on a walk around the neighborhood. She is too old to be able to do any real elevation gain, but she did okay on the hilly neighborhood streets, and after a mile I decided she would be okay if we went up Lost Lane and onto the trail that leads towards Meyers Mountain. We weren't going to be heading for the peak, but just following some of the easy trails that wind through the forest at the lower levels. This was great fun for her, as we were alone so I let go of her leash and let her wonder a bit. This was also enjoyable for me, this being Sierra's first trip to the mountains in her entire life. Too bad it didn't happen until she was 12, but better late then never. I was really glad to see her enjoying the beautiful mountains, and she certainly enjoyed the nice forested yard we now have for her in South Lake Tahoe. Special moments indeed.

After walking Sierra, I picked up Marcus and made the 10 minute drive to the Tahoe Rim Trailhead at Big Meadow on Highway 89 south of South Lake Tahoe. We had hiked together the previous day, with Marcus doing pretty well, although he didn't really like brush, and I wound up carrying him over some bad brush and some class 2 boulders before ultimately tying his leash to a rock while I did the final 5 minutes to the summit. So today I was fairly optimistic that we could bag Peak 8085, a peak that was about 8 miles RT, and 1500 feet of gain. But that was not the part I cared as much about - the peaks first 3.5 miles were all on trail, so we had to only worry about 1/2 a mile, with only a few hundred feet of gain off trail. From the satellite it looked doable.

We got started at the trailhead, the same one that I had hiked out of yesterday (without Marcus) to bag Peak 9380. We followed the TRT as it went back across to the south side of Highway 89, and initially went up a very nice, albeit rocky trail. This lasted about 3/4 of a mile, and we hit the junction where I had turned east the day before, but stayed south towards Big Meadow today. We immediately came to a nice stream, and Marcus was quite excited by the prospect of going for a swim. Normally when I hike I like to keep up a strong pace, but today this was more about having fun with Marcus, with the peak being secondary. I let him play around for a while before he shook off and we resumed our hike. The next section of trail was very flat, as it went through Big Meadow. Marcus led with a brisk pace through this section, and we soon caught up to hikers in front of us who let us pass.

We probably passed nearly 10 hikers on the day, this area being quite popular with the dayhiking crowd looking for a short hike. There were also at least a half dozen dogs we ran into, although curiously Marcus was the only one on leash. People were generally friendly towards him, and one of the few mountain bikers we ran into actually said he loves seeing dogs on the trail. Marcus was also called cute by a few people, and had his head scratched by a couple of others. He did well with the other dogs, but I had to keep him leashed because he otherwise would chase after any random squirrel or other wildlife that caught his eye. Anyway, past Big Meadow the trail steepened, back into the woods again as we reached the highest point of the day. Marcus slowed once again, as he for some reason really loves those Mules Ears. After hitting the high point we descended downhill a couple of hundred feet before crossing a couple more streams. Marcus once again took his time playing in the streams, which was great fun for me to just watch and laugh at his antics.

Things were about to get tougher, however, as we reached the point where it was time to go off trail. Marcus didn't seem too sure about wanting to leave the comfort of the trail for the potential brush nuisance that we did the day before, but he started out like a champ. We were doing pretty good, with only minimal brush, and a few large log crossings. We were about halfway up from where we left the trail to the summit (so about 1/4 mile from the top) when Marcus decided that the brush was too much of a hassle and he refused to continue. I thought maybe he was tired, but no, he just lay there, not willing to come up with me any further. I was able to prove that he wasn't too tired by walking down, as he quickly got up and was more than happy to head back to the trail. Oh well, failed summit bid on this one, but I don't think I've ever been more content to abandon a summit push.

On the way back down Marcus once again frolicked in the streams, drinking heartily and cooling off in the water. We had a most pleasant stroll back down the hill, and by the time we got back to the car it was nearly a 3 hour hike. I was feeling guilty about leaving Sierra for so long, but when we got back she and Marcus were both very tired, and they spent the next several hours sleeping after their big weekend.

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