July 10 – Bear, Potatoes, & Friendly People

I trade sweat for strength.
I trade sleep for sunrise.
I trade doubt for belief.
I trade my walking for nothing.
~ New Balance

Squaw Creek to Peter Grubb Hut (north of Donner Pass)
20.4 miles

Wumph. Wumph, wumph is what I heard about 10 minutes after I left camp this morning. Right in front of me a BIG cinnamon bear had leaped up a tree. He wasn’t going anywhere, so I walked way above him. Sorry didn’t flip out my trusty iPhone at that moment to get a photo, but I did get a picture of his scat down the trail (below).

Coming into Donner Pass today was really fun. People on the trail were happy, clean, some had dogs, and others had kids. It was great. I talked to quite a few nice, interesting day hikers.

I have wondered how PCT hikers get across busy freeways like I 80. Viola! the special steel pipe! (photo below) Upon coming to this find I quickly decided it would be great to cook and eat dinner under the freeway. Way cool!

I have found that if I eat a LARGE amount of a special mashed potato recipe I got from PCT hikers Yellowstone and Skyward, I feel full and have lots of energy. If anyone wants the recipe I would be glad to email it.

I am camped outside a Sierra Club Hut called the Peter Grubb Hut north of I 80. It is used primarily during the winter and is sporting a deluxe solar potty. I had fun exploring inside. Good night for now.

– Big bear scat
– Rockin’ with less snow in her future
– I have to hike down that?
– Hiker route under I 80
– Peter Grubb Hut
– You got it yet another solar potty dedicated to Chris D.


  1. That mashed potato recipe sounds great. I’d love to get it if you get a chance. Keep Rockin’ it!

  2. Wow, that was a big bear. I imagine very cool to get to watch.

    Thanks for offering, yes, I would definitely like the mashed potato recipe. I have only been to the Peter Grubb Hut in winter. Beautiful landscape. Perspectives are always different from season to season. You’re lookin fantastic, Rockin. I couldn’t be happier for you. Hooray!!! I gather from the previous posts you are close to wrapping up this segment of your journey.
    Hey, I, too, am a fancier of solar potties. I’ve taken my share of photos of them, as well, hahaha.
    Keep on a walkin, Rockin. You go, Baby!

  3. Always interesting things to look at. Never realized you would be crossing/going under freeways. Love the solar potty. Looking forward to seeing you soon. so be safe these last couple of days.

    • That was actually really fun going under a major freeway in a little tunnel. It did help that there were wildflowers and a stream to improve on the atmosphere. Thanks for the well wishes!

  4. karen halvorsen

    You should be about to end your journey. I am flying to Casper, Wy with Shannon Tues . We are going to a friends 75th birthday party. I will miss two physical apt. She is giving me some stretching excercizes to do until I return. You should be home by then. Safe travels. Love Mom

    • Thank you for the well wishes and following along. Hope your trip to Casper is fun and not too painful. Glad you are taking your Physical Therapy seriously!

  5. I’d like your mashed potato recipe. I have one that we like but I’m always looking for better ones. Here’s my recipe:

    Follow the box directions (I use Butter Buds for the butter and powdered milk). The “special” ingredient is powdered sour cream! I bought the sour cream for a veggie dip on the first day of a hike to use with fresh veggies. Had some left over so I added it to mashed potatoes and it is excellent.


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