Mileage: 19 miles
Start/End: Mt Rose Summit Trailhead/Taylor Creek Trailhead
Highlights: Serenity. This trail is deserted, I didn’t see anyone in 2 days and 19 miles.
Arriving at Mt Rose with about 3,500 calories of food left and not wanting to have carried it for nothing I decided to extend my hike. I hiked up to the saddle the way I had on Day 1 and took the narrow trail over the other side, instead of continuing up the ridge to the summit. Curiously there were branches blocking off this spur a month ago…
The descent is gorgeous, and despite reports of zero water on this trail I soon crossed a gushing spring. The tread was soft and the deep boot prints on the dry tread belied recent trailwork.
Recent work turned to cairns and a twisty path through extremely rocky terrain. I began to appreciate how thoroughly worked the TRT is. The soft trail collapsed underfoot at times. My feet and ankles grew tired much quicker than before. Still, there is a discernable, mostly complete trail in place.
It’s about 13 miles to the head of Taylor Creek. The descent into the canyon drops severely down endless switchbacks another 3 miles and it’s hard not to run, but try to enjoy the scene: orange and gold aspens wind their way along the bottom of the canyon for miles until they’re out of sight. The suburbs of Reno are just visible off in the distance. When the grade and the twilight tapered off I made camp in the thick groves of aspen saplings.
My 2nd day is explained by a chimichanga. I froze all night and I finished all of my food that morning – 3 PowerBars and a package of ramen – during the remainder of the walk to the Taylor Creek Trailhead. I was hungry, hot and completely out of ibuprofen, and I’d only covered 3 miles, by the time I got there. I hitched a ride the rest of the way to Reno proper (instead of wading through neighborhoods to downtown,) bought a pair of clearance Chacos at REI to relieve my aching feet, and meandered toward the bus stop, stopping at a used bookstore along the way. I came out just in time to see the #13 stopped across the street. It dropped me off at the transit center next to Arroyo with enough time to catch the end of the Giants game and to finaly try the chimichanga I’d eyed a month before. It was amazing. A crust as flaky as pastry, boiling hot, stringy mozzarella, black beans and moist shredded beef inside. A copious pile of fresh guacamole. I was there just before closing. If the #13 hadn’t been stopped in front of the bookstore when I came out, I’d never have made it. The server was great, left me alone in the back, and brought extra guacamole. A+, Arroyo. I put half of the giant meal in a box, slipped on my pack, and caught the bus to my next destination…