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This was an overnight trip starting at Barker Pass, west of Lake Tahoe. We headed south on the Pacific Crest Trail to where it intersects the Rubicon Trail, a famously challenging 4WD “road”. We followed the Rubicon Trail, partway down to the Rubicon River canyon, except where we had to leave the road to go around traffic jams of stuck 4WD vehicles . . . .  Eventually leaving the Rubicon, we bushwhacked to Fern Lake and then on to Long Lake. More accurately, we got whacked by the thick brush.

It started drizzling at Fern Lake, and was raining pretty hard when we got to Long Lake.  Fortunately, there was a nice backcountry campsite, in an area that had burned a few years ago. We had to set up camp in the rain, and were pleased to find that the MSR Hubba Hubba tent went up easily without getting totally soaked. Still, my high-absorbency backpacking towel came in handy. Waited out the rain in the tent.

There was enough downed wood to find some dry tender to build a campfire after the rain subsided. We carry backcountry fire permits, and fire restrictions hadn’t gone into effect yet. But rarely do we have conditions where it seems safe to have a campfire, so that was a treat.

The next morning we took a different route up granite cliffs, more open but quite a climb, then followed roads of varying existential reality to get back to Barker Pass.

Statistics:
15.33 mi (5.87 mi uphill, 6.84 mi downhill, 2.52 mi flat)
1700 ft total ascent  – 14.6%  uphill grade, 103.5%  downhill grade
1 day 1:22:25 total time (8:06:12 moving, 17:16:13 stopped)
0:31:42 pace (1.9 mph average speed)
27.6 difficulty, 49.7 effort

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