Blind man hikes Tahoe Rim Trail | SierraSun.com

Blind man hikes Tahoe Rim Trail

Sun news service
Blind hiker Trevor Thomas and his dog, Tennille, completed the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail on Wednesday. They started the trail Aug. 17.
Provided courtesy of Trevor Thomas |

Blind hiker Trevor Thomas and his black Lab, Tennille, completed their 165-mile journey around Lake Tahoe last Wednesday.

Thomas, a 45-year-old North Carolina resident who lost his eyesight about nine years ago, departed from Echo Lakes Aug. 17. He returned 18 days later.

During his trek, the veteran hiker provided updates on Facebook frequently so followers could check in on his progress. On Day 5, he wrote about the difficulty of finding a campsite.

“Not having to worry about finding water, I thought finding a campsite would be easy,” he said in a post. “I was mistaken. Everything that appeared flat was covered with volcanic rock unsuited for camping so we pushed on. When Tennille told me she had had enough. I did the best I could with what I had. The ground is flat without rocks, but is covered with prickly things.”

On Day 6, Tennille drank “some water that she should not have” and had to be taken to a veterinarian in Truckee. The Lab was given some medicine and special food, and the duo headed back to the trail after a couple days of recovery.

The first day back went well, Thomas said, even after getting rained on.

“We made it to the lake at about 3:30 and while deciding whether to push on for a few more miles I got a feeling that would be a bad idea,” he posted. “We set up camp instead. Within minutes of getting the tent set up the thunder and rain started, quickly followed by dime-sized hail.”

Thomas also met several people on the trail, including two wayward mountain bikers on Aug. 29.

“This was their third day bike ride of their vacation, and on each day they had gotten horribly lost,” he said in a post. “Who would have thought ‘the blind guy’ with his trusty iPhone and directions from Laine Rountree Walter would save the day.”

Thomas and Tennille hiked the last few miles back to Echo Lakes last Wednesday, saying both had set personal altitude records on the trip. To find out more about Thomas and his journey on the Tahoe Rim Trail, go to http://www.blindhikertrevorthomas.com.

“It was an amazing experience and a wonderful trail,” he said in an email.