Being the nice guy that I am, I immediately accepted the invitation, packed up and headed out. I wanted to try a new trail I had discovered on a map. The trailhead is on South Upper Truckee Road, off the west side of Luther pass at 38°47'45.19", 120°01'05.17" I wasn't sure what I would find, and feverently hoped that the road to the trailhead was paved. My beater 4Runner was in the shop over the weekend getting tuned and worked on, and I had to drive the nice car. It's not something I would have taken last week to Blue Lakes on my journey to Grouse Lake, as that road isn't the best between Lower and Upper Blue Lake.
The weather was perfect: temps in the high 40s at the start and a touch over 60 when I finished. No wind, no clouds - just a spectacular blue sky! A complete photo set for this trip is on Flickr, here.
I had the trailhead to myself when I started:
Below is a screen capture of the Google Earth view of the trail and the elevation profile. You can see the switchbacks along the route.
Overall, I was really happy with the journey. It was the first time I have been able to run the entire course of a planned route in about 4 months. Injuries that have kept me down seem to be disappearing, though the standard pains are always with me.